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 As you know (maybe you don't) that it has a been part of my business model to go out to meet two new people a week and go to a networking event once a week. I do this to get my business name out there and to promote my business. I learned that it is one more asset of marketing that businesses need to do (even in good time)s.

When the US had economic troubles in 2008 I almost lost my business because I never went out to either sell or market my business. When a couple of sources dried up and I was forced to live off my credit card for three months. Bad decision, so I sucked it up and started networking with people/businesses in my community.

I found myself attending this networking event last week (FREE Small Business Event: How to Become a Social All-Star) that was put on by Frontier, at the Embassy Suites in Beaverton, OR. It was here that I got to hear from a couple of local big hitters in the social media world. Patrick Galvin (Galvin Communications), Jan Wallen (mastering LinkedIn) and Ryan Lewis (Bonfire Social Media). I even met a woman that has an automotive repair shop close to my office that was interested in talking about her business and the downtown Rotary group. This may be another post and opportunity for Molly's Fund to meet corporate sponsors.


Patrick Galvin - Chief galvanizer for Galvin Communications.

I went up and introduced myself to Patrick and asked if he would like to meet for coffee and have more conversation. He was more than happy to meet at Case Study coffee shop that is located in the Hollywood district of Portland. Finally, during his introduction at the Social Star Event he spoke on his commitment to WOM marketing. I am a heavy endorser of Andy Sernovitz's WOM campaign. He has a great newsletter called, "Damn, I Wish I'd Thought of That".


Speaking of WOM… Patrick is a Connector and endorsed Case Study coffee shop that a friend of his owns (and the little bakery next door to it). It is always a treat to find someone locally that has a passion about helping other businesses through word of mouth!

Patrick owns a PR firm in town and has a handful of clients that he promotes in the traditional and social media venues. He also is a professional speaker that presents to various groups and events. 

 Bella the boxer

But what really caught my attention was that he has a dog, Bella the Boxer, that he has creatively introduced as the star of the Hollywood neighborhood (especially businesses). He speaks through Bella as a Goodwill Ambassador. It is pretty funny. It was so popular that Patrick had a written, Secrets of a Working Dog: Unleash your Potential and Create Success

I really enjoyed my conversation with Patrick and welcome him into my group of Strategic Partners. He passed on information about a local video connection and also one in the Bay Area (where I may be reaching out to because of my connections down there). We talked about our adopted children and lives outside of the business world. I will keep him in my thoughts when I see anything of interest in the Social Media world. I would recommend signing up for Patrick's blog - Buzz Builder.


Published in marketing 101
Friday, 15 July 2011 08:06

What makes them click?

Just got turned onto this new book by a friend of mine about how to design web sites that keep viewers engaged.

Neuro Web Design


I have nearly underlined every piece of copy in the book. Great stuff!

Here is a teaser:

"Most behavior and decision-making isn't conscious. That means that they will have to engage the mid brain and the old brain, in addition to the new brain. We want to think that we are making logical decisions, even though we aren't. The mose effective Web sites are Web sites that talk to all three brains. When the Web site engages all three brains, then we click."

If you do anything on the web, I would strongly recommend this book.


© 2011 Michael Johnson - Inkspot Graphics. All rights reserved


Published in marketing 101
Friday, 17 June 2011 06:46

Inkspot Advertisement for Publication

Catch their eyes!



I was very happy with this ad that I created for local CEIC publication. It does a couple of things…


1. It will stop people when they are reading publication because of curiosity. Why does this cow have a funny icon on him? Now they have to read the copy.


2. It is humorous which reflects on my personality and business model. 


3. The icon (or QR code) is one of the fairly new social media technologies that will actually direct you to my website blog if you were to use a QR reader on your smart phone.


We also thought about putting a testimonial from another CEIC member but I thought that it would disrupt the clean layout. I love the white space!


Do you have any other samples of good layout that has plenty of white space?


© 2011 Michael Johnson - Inkspot Graphics. All rights reserved

Published in marketing 101

Logo Makeover for Blue Bridge Development

My web developer (John Hooley of Blue Bridge Development) said very apologetically, that he was showing the new site (and logo) to some of his colleagues and they were concerned about the abstract image that we used for his brand. He also requested that the type have a little more Eastern stylistic look.

I told John that I could totally understand and appreciate their critique. In the back of my head I was thinking that the green object could either be a leaf or base of a prayer rock. It probably was a little too subliminal for his web developer audience. 


I showed him a couple different options for leaves that we could use and the one that we picked had the same orientation (good for web header). I recreated the font that he wanted to use so that he didn't have to purchase the whole family of fonts just to use for his logo. He was very happy with the new logo/brand makeover.

Moral of this story is: Don't see it as a design failure! It is better to have the client happy about "their product" which they will want to tell others.



 © 2011 Michael Johnson - Inkspot Graphics. All rights reserved.

Published in marketing 101
Monday, 21 March 2011 06:42

Mobile Marketing Conference 2011

Mobile Technology - Marketing Conference 


This one day seminar was put on by Don Elliot of Elliot Designs. I enjoyed it (and not just because it was in the Migration Brewery). I took away a lot of information on what the future holds for the marketing of the smart phone. I will be attending their next seminar. I will post it on my Inkspot Graphics LinkedIn page.


Local Professional Speakers



One of 2010's most influential women in technology and local TED Talks speaker, Amber Case will present with four tech professionals including mobile app developer Chris Skaag, SEO specialist Dan Delmain, mobile payments and marketing professionals Don Elliott and Lynn Gray, covering topics from tech history, future, strategies, methods and ways to adapt with mobile media.


Cyborg Anthropologist Amber Case, TED talks speaker, the co-creator of, writer of the upcoming book, A Dictionary of Cyborg Anthropology, and creator of, has a growing following as an anthropologist. Her fascination rests with studying the rapid growth and change in our society as the internet and mobile technology becomes more prominent. A Lewis and Clarke grad, Case worked for global advertisers Wieden + Kennedy and is recognized as one of 2010's most influential women in technology. Case resides in Portland.


Chris Skaggs is the CTO of Code-Monkeys in Newberg, OR is a ten year veteran in the creation of B2B and B2C technology solutions including two years in the mobile technology space. Code-Monkeys builds a variety of custom apps for iOS, Android, and Netbooks, as well as backup software for mobile apps. Chris has appeared as a technology consultant with Intel, Mashable, MTV, Comcast, Fandango, Mobile Portland, the SAO and Oasis Audio.


Another one of my strategic partners - owner of the SEO and Search Engine Marketing firm Umbrella Web Solutions, Dan Delmain will talk about techniques for targeting the mobile market through search engines and local maps.


Northwest Agent for Priority Payment Systems, Lynn Gray will speak on Mobile Payment Solutions. and Don Elliott, president of Elliot Design will wrap up the seminar with useful tools and strategy for marketing with popular mobile technology.

 © 2011 Michael Johnson - Inkspot Graphics. All rights reserved.

Published in marketing 101
Friday, 02 July 2010 05:34

Children are all born as Artists!

I just watched this great TED presentation by Sir Ken Robinson. I have never heard him before but found out about him through Mitch Joel (another great inspirational marketing guy). If anything else, please watch the video for our children's sake!


Sir Ken quotes Picasso of saying, "Children are all born as Artists!" Our educational system focuses more on the three "R's" than it does on the arts. Our culture does not endorse being an artist as a career. It is when the child paints a purple cow, that the teacher or parent says, "Johnny, cows are not purple, lets look at some real cows". Some kids will notice the painting of the purple cow and laugh. Unfortunately, they have set a trigger in Johnny's head and the seed will remain planted.


When teaching in various institutions I have heard the same comment, "I can't draw, I am not an artist." I always went out of my way to explain we all have the creative talents it has just been suppressed. To get good at anything in life, you need to practice every day! I can't think of any athlete that took a year off and could at the top of his/her game when they returned to competition.


In my own business, I talk to people that have grand visions or dreams and I have to find subtle ways to get these to fruition. Trying to reverse the process of negative reinforcement takes twice as much work. So you have to work in baby steps to see small successes.


In marketing, the big keyword is ROI (return on investment) that businesses have learned. If I spend $5000.00 on the postcard campaign promoting our Winter Special can I make that $5000.00 back in 1 or 2 months. As I am learning now, is that with Social Media and branding your company (blogging, networking, etc) it may be a slow process but it is what our new generation of kids will understand. You can't fight the process, take a chance.


© 2010 Michael Johnson - Inkspot Graphics. All rights reserved.

Published in marketing 101

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