My work keeps piling up today which means I really should be working on client projects right now, but I had to stop and write this blog post ASAP because I can't take it anymore. I have to stand on my soapbox and scream out to all small business owners something very important. Here it goes, brace yourself for disappointment: "You are NOT a graphic designer so quit trying to be one"! Read it again and remember it. All small business owners wear multiple hats, but please take off the graphic design hat. Just like you shouldn't do legal work for your business without a law degree, you shouldn't be designing without design skills, experience, and a great eye. Go Fetch Marketing's co-founder, Brad Howard is a graphic designer. Clients actually pay him good money to design. Graphic design isn't his hobby, side job, or just for kicks job. He isn't an interior designer or photographer, who now thinks he can be a graphic designer. Graphic design is his career, his passion, and his education (Fine Arts Degree). Brad has an eye for graphic design, almost 4 decades of experience in multiple industries and in multiple mediums. He can design
Social media has been responsible for far-reaching changes in the way that marketers are interacting with the public. Technology has brought us to a point where the modern consumer has nearly uninterrupted access to their favorite products, companies, personalities, and brands. As a result, marketers spend a great deal of their time figuring out how to leverage the marketing tools available to them without overstaying their welcome. Below are a number of technologies that remain underrated, at least where marketers are concerned, that are making the task of marketing to a worldwide audience that much easier. Smartphones and Tablets It might seem unusual to refer to tablets and smartphones as "underrated," but their place in the world of online marketing has yet to be fully understood and utilized. The truth is, marketers everywhere are still trying to make sense of the fact that most people can't so much as go to the bathroom without taking their mobile device of choice with them. What this means is that there are more opportunities than ever to fully utilize these devices as marketing tools. One thing that marketers are learning to differentiate between is the sort of calls-to-action that should be used on
I recently gave a presentation to a group of small business owners from the NEW (Network of Entrepreneurial Women) group. I created the graphic above to correspond to the "Top Ten Internet and Social Media Tips for Small Businesses". Because some women in the group were just starting out and some were already further along in their marketing programs I decided the best way to provide value to the whole group was to think through the most common mistakes I see with my own set of clients. So, here it is.... The Top Ten marketing tips when it comes to Internet marketing that I think all business owners should understand before they start the race. Enjoy and please let us know what marketing items you continue to struggle with so we can offer some friendly advise in our blog. 1. Be NICE to Mother Google for Better SEO (Search Engine Optimization): We all know how important a website is to a business's online strategy. Almost every business, whether B2B, B2C, non-profit, local or global needs an online presence to reach buyers. You want prospects to find you in a Google search (keyword searches) when they are looking for products
We just finished building one of our best websites yet for a local restaurant called Captain's Quarters. The client was ecstatic about the results which made me start thinking about what made this website build so successful for us and the client. Two important website design elements stood out on the project, great photography and designers. First off, a big shout out to our great designers, my partner Brad Howard and Mark Malik. The second element was all the great photography this client made available to us. It literally took me days to sort through all the photography and categorize it for the designers to use. I know what you are thinking as a small business owner, "I don't have the budget for professional photography and I don't have any designers on staff" so this doesn't help me. Well, here is a few tips on how to incorporate these two important elements into your website without breaking the bank. Good Designers There are a ton of graphic design freelancers out there who will do work on the side on the cheap. Search sites like elancer or vworker. Ask to see their portfolio of work and make sure to look
My partner and I have been in the marketing / advertising business for several decades now and we have seen it all when it comes to small business marketing. Here are the top 5 small business marketing pitfalls we come across most often and our suggestions for avoiding them. 1. Businesses do not own their own domain name: I have mentioned this before in previous posting but it haunts me. I deal with at least one major domain ownership problem a month and they don't always have a pretty outcome. The worst one I experienced was when a client built a website through a freelancer who secured the domain and owned domain. When the client decided several years later to rebuild their website through Go Fetch Marketing and not the freelance designer, the freelancer refused to release the domain name to them and they eventually had to purchase a different domain that did not match their business name. This is an easy fix. Purchase your own domain through any register and own it for life. Domains are cheap ($10-$20 a year) and doing it yourself is worth the hassle. Domains can be purchased through various registers such as Go Daddy, Network
Over 90% of our clients are now on the WordPress website platform. I have encouraged all my clients over the last several years to move to WordPress. It is a dynamic, user friendly system that puts control back into the hands of the clients. I have clients that can manage their own websites updates after we built the initial website and trained them on how to make updates. Obviously we are always here to handle the updates for clients that don't want to be DIY pioneers, but our clients are thrilled to know that they can do it without us if they want to. With the economic down turn and companies tighten their belts, every penny counts. Here is a list of the top ten reasons we love using WordPress. It is Open Source: WordPress is an Open Source software which means it is free! It may be used on any personal, and/or commercial projects without costing you an annual “seat license”. Many high-end Content Management Systems (CMS) require “Seat Licenses” which means that you have to pay per user /seat who will be using it. User Friendly: WordPress does not require you to be an expert with computer knowledge
Please join us on September 18th for the Go Fetch Marketing Workshop You will learn the answers to these ten marketing questions and lots more. How do I incorporate social media (Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and Pinterest) into my business and how important is it? Should I revamp my current website or build a new one? What is the difference between domain and hosting and which vendors should I use for these services? What marketing items can I handle myself? What marketing items do I need to outsource? What are some successful and inexpensive marketing campaigns, tricks, and tips? How do I handle advertising sales people and what should I ask EVER advertising sales person? What are QR Codes and are they right for my business? What is search engine optimization (SEO) and how do I manage it? How do I get the best return on my investment (ROI) when my marketing budget is small? The first two hours of the workshop will be classroom style discussion and then we will have a complete hour for Q&A. No question will go unanswered. Space is limited to 30 participants so grab your seat fast. Tickets to the workshop are $35 and cover
Fundraisers can be a daunting and difficult task. Some organizations don’t provide good marketing and sales tools to help sell the product or service which only makes it more difficult to raise funds. Whether you are parent raising funds for your kids' schools or sports team, or you are passionate about a charitable organization, put on your creative hat and come up with something new and different. For example, the school my kids attend has a big magazine drive each year. The magazines are expensive and how many people actually have subscriptions to magazines anymore with the prevalence of digital media in our daily lives. This makes for a terrible product, horrible pricing model, and ultimately a difficult sale. My kids have to prey on our closest family members for a sympathy purchase which of course includes the biggest sympathy purchase from Mom and Dad. I now have enough magazines subscriptions in my house to open up a periodical section in my office. Making matters worse, the school only provides each kid with a hard copy catalog of magazines, some black and white flyers, and access to a terrible online ordering system. A bad product coupled with a bad marketing
Have you been thinking about a website redesign? Redesign projects can be laborious, so before you head down make sure you are doing it for the right reasons and that you incorporate the most essential elements. This free ebook will walk you through 7 important steps that you should follow for a redesign or if you are just considering an upgrade to your current website. You will learn: Whether or not a website redesign is right for your company How to protect your website content during a redesign How to format your homepage correctly The importance of original content Why you need landing pages The importance of website metrics
Here is a picture of the first is has a "wow" factor (sizes can be up to 11 x 15), it can be targeted down to carrier routes, and is less expensive for postage. For more information on EDDM, check out our previous post on this new direct mail option.
In addition to having a sign-up form on your website for visitors to register for your email list, I saw a great idea in a little local ice cream shop the other day. If you have a retail store put a small laptop computer at the checkout area that allows people waiting in line to pay to add their own email address to your list. This avoids the hassle of having to ask them for it, it is definitely opt-in, and you know the email address is inputting accurately. This is a great option for coffee shops, ice-cream shops, restaurants, etc... where people are standing around waiting for their coffee, ice-cream, or order to be filled.
You can't stop hearing about how you need to embrace social media for your marketing. It can be overwhelming and exhausting just to think about adding social media to your business owner duties. I talk to clients daily about the importance of social media as an extension of their marketing efforts, but I also admit that as an agency we get lazy about keeping up with our own social marketing. I personally like to blog more than post on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.... but I certainly know that it should be an active part of every small business marketing portfolio. Here is a social media story that drives home how important it is while reminding me that we need to practice what we preach. Enjoy..... My partner, Brad Howard, can whip up an illustration for just about anything. I have to say after being around graphic designers for over 15 years he is probably one of the most talented illustrators I have seen. Because of his talent he is often recruited by friends and family to do designs for our personal interests (thankfully for those special few, he obliges). So one night, his oldest daughter, who is a soccer player and big fan of Megan Rapinoe ( US Women's Soccer team player), requested that Dad create her
I was on my way to my brother's house for the annual 4th of July celebration with the family and as I pulled into his upper class neighborhood I noticed little American Flags in the yard of every house right beside every mailbox. Wow, I thought, his neighborhood is so fancy that the Home Owners Association put out flags in everyone's yard to decorate for the holiday. As I pulled into my brother's driveway, I looked down at the flag in his yard and noticed that it had a little 4x6 postcard attached to the flag pole which was advertising a local real estate agent that worked the area. What a great marketing idea. This real estate agent was being very clever. He knew if he put the flags in everyone's yard by the mailboxes with his little advertisement attached, that no one would take them down because it was for the holiday. My brother informed me the flags had been up for several days. Who doesn't want an American Flag in their yard on the 4th. This concept would be good for companies that are targeting specific neighborhoods, income levels, etc... Maybe you are a high end landscaper looking to get
I went to pick up some mail last week at the post office and saw a flyer about a USPS marketing program. Wow, this seems to good to be true. It is called Every Door Direct Mail or EDDM. This is a program the USPS offers that opens up a whole new opportunity for busines owners to target specific areas in the local market without the need / cost of purchasing mailing lists or mailing permits (postage). This can be a huge savings for businesses that are trying to target consumers (B-C) in a specific geographical location. You can use Every Door Direct Mail to… Target a location without an address list Send out local mailings or national campaigns Build more traffic Find new customers Increase revenue Reduce mail preparation costs It is perfect for businesses like restaurants, retailers, auto dealerships, attorneys, doctors, lawn service companies, landscapers, home improvement companies, etc... You can mail as few as 200 pieces or as many as 5000 piece for only $0.142 per piece (I assume that doesn't include the cost of printing the piece). Now that is a deal. For more details check out this information on the USPS website and good luck.
Hi Everyone. I don't really blog about our advertising agency but I think I will start doing this more often so the audience can start understanding how agencies work. My first post about our agency is to announce the addition of a new account manager to our team. His name is Josh Fuqua and he will be managing and overseeing account in Danville and Somerset Kentucky. Josh is an experienced web designer and brings a lot of public relations experience to the table. It is so wonderful to know that we can expand our business and keep our overhead expenses down through the use of technology. Josh and Brad are both located in the Danville/Somerset Kentucky area while I am located in Louisville, Kentucky. We can all still function as a team and work remotely together to collaborate on projects as necessary. This keeps our overhead expenses to a minimum which allows us to offer our clients the best marketing/advertising services at the most reasonable pricing.
Here is a quick and easy easter marketing campaign I came across yesterday. This is particularly a great campaign if you own a retail store or if you are in the service industry but have a bricks and mortar store that customers visit. I went to get my haircut yesterday in a swanky salon (rare treat for me) and when I went to go pay for my cut the receptionist told me that if you booked my next visit I was allowed to pick an easter egg out from the basket. Each egg had a coupon and a piece of candy in it. The coupon is good for the next time I visited the salon. My coupon was actually very good offer, 50% a hair color. Any ladies out there reading this blog will know how expensive hair color at the salon is. Anyway, now I just have to keep my next appointment and show up for a hair color for 50% off. Nice deal and a little easter fun!! Throw a basket of eggs on the counter and give some coupons out. It will bring satisfied customers and a little Spring Cheer to the day! Good luck marketers.
We now build the majority of websites for our clients using WordPress. Unless we have a client that has a very specific need that requires a lot of customization and custom features we always do the build using the WordPress platform. Here are just some of the reasons we like it particularly for the small business client: It is an Open Source software which means it is free! It maybe used on any personal, and/or commercial projects without costing you a single penny. Clients do not pay a yearly license fee. Many high-end CMS requires “Seat Licenses” which means that you have to pay them per user who will be using it. On the other hand WordPress is free. It is user friendly. You do not need to be an expert with a ton of computer knowledge. Once the initial build is done we can turn over the keys and clients can make their own updates with ease. WordPress has many open-source plugins that we can add to website for additional features and designs. WordPress has gone to great lengths to make sure every bit of the generated code is in full compliance with the standards of the W3C. This
We just launched a low budget direct mail / email campaign for a client that is B to B. They sell a medical product that is often taken out on a 30-day trial and then purchased by the customer. They have had huge success with 30 day trials and very rarely is their product returned (i.e. most 30 day trial customers purchase the product). As a test campaign we are going to send out a letter and email to all 30 day trial customers at about 10-15 days into their trial run and thank them for using the product. In that letter / email we are going to have a call to action where if the customer orders a second product during the trial period we will offer a 10% discount and free shipping. I will keep you posted on the results of this campaign. We think it will be a hit because most 30 day trials turn into permanent customers and a lot of those customers order more than one product. This is just another low budget marketing campaign that you can implement yourself. If you have a lot of customers that are either up-sell customers or trial customers give this type of campaign some thought. Hope this post spurs
QR codes are going to take off in 2011. With all the new applications for them and the fact that the majority of mobile phone users are have a smart phone now this is a new form of marketing that will finally be adopted by the masses. I have been researching and reading about various QR codes and I personally like the Microsoft Tag codes but the experts say stick with QR codes that are more generic so that smart phone users don't have to have a specific app on their phone for scanning (e.g. if you use a Microsoft Tag the audience has to have the Microsoft Tag Reader app on their phone to scan it). Click here to read a good article on how to implement QR Codes For those of you that don't know what QR Codes are here is a brief explanation What are QR codes? They look like this: They come to us from Japan where they are very common. QR is short for Quick Response (they can be read quickly by a cell phone). They are used to take a piece of information from a transitory media and put it in to your cell
Hello everyone. Per my previous post on 1/21 in regard to hosting and domains I have a client who called me on Monday with the problem I was talking about in my post. Actually it was my brother who owns two businesses. Here is what happened. He set up a website for one of his businesses over 6 years ago. I didn't design or help him with that website. This is the smaller of the two businesses he owns so he doesn't really work on it day to day and never paid attention to the website or the email accounts tied to the website. The company that put up the website for him handled the hosting and email set-up. He called me on Monday asking me for his email password to get into his "squirrel mail" (a webmail platform). He apparently forgot that I didn't set up the website/email for that business. When I told him he needed to track down the website hosting provider who put up his website he didn't seem to know who to call, or even remember the name of the company that did it. I am sure he finally hunted down the website designers and got the information he needed
Hopefully within the next few weeks I am going to write a FAQ on website builds. In the meantime, I have to clear up some confusion that 90% of my clients have. Most small business owners don't understand the difference between hosting and domain registration. These are two completely different items that each and every website owner must understand. Here are the basic definitions: Hosting: A web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their own website accessible via the World Wide Web. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server they own or lease for use by their clients as well as providing Internet connectivity, typically in a data center. Web hosts can also provide data center space and connectivity to the Internet for servers they do not own to be located in their data center. Domain: Domain names are used to identify one or more IP addresses. For example, the domain name microsoft.com represents about a dozen IP addresses. Domain names are used in URLs to identify particular Web pages. For example, in the URL http://www.pcwebopedia.com/index.html, the domain name is pcwebopedia.com. Now that you know the basic