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.
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.
Ben Sandberg - PDX Fix It
I started working with a friend of mine that is a local Joomla web developer that was looking to rebrand himself.
We went through the discovery process and researching his competition and target market. I went through and made four pages of conceptional ideas.
Looked at mood board printouts with various colors and images (icons). Dug deeper into what was his "purpose". By discussing more he found that he had quite a few different directions he could take his company.
Presentation of three polished concepts that I liked and completely identified his personality. My challenge was to make his brand memorable and his company's URL to stick in his customer's head. We also talked about what are the descriptive key words that describe him and his business. So if your potential clients are trying to look for you what would they Google search for?
I really thought that makes Ben unforgettable is that he is always wearing those shoes that have the toes sticking out. He loves those and I think that it is one of the funniest things that I will always remember about him.
Ben told me that his wife, Amanda, was really impressed with the brand discovery process and wanted me to do her company's logo. It is really nice to have people that are excited and see the real value of having a purpose.
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
St. Patrick's Day Marketing.
Our crazy neighbor down the hall, Frank DeSantis, in one of his many costumes. Always gets your attention when he is in the room.
© 2011 Michael Johnson - Inkspot Graphics. All rights reserved.
One of the wonderful tips from DHX Advertising's "Marketing 101" digital booklet.
I have talked to numerous college students in the graphic design field that want to show me their portfolio or their most recent logo to get my opinion. As I explain to them that it doesn't say anything to me unless they tell me who the audience is that is going to be looking at it.
What does your Target Market look like?
Before I start a project, I ask my clients LOTS of questions about their industry, who are your competitors, and who is your target market? I like to see that look in their eye that tells me "He is listening to me and understands my business".
HOW TO UNDERSTAND YOUR CLIENT'S BUSINESS
There is a process to a good understanding of your client's business. To all of my clients that are starting a new business I create a one-page target market report on their business. They now have a tool that they can rehearse for potential clients, share the message with their employees and have a good start on their company business plan. Think ahead for your clients - they will appreciate it.
I love watching Fox Sports on Sunday Morning!
Have you ever watched the football analysis on Fox Sports? They have four football legends give their thoughts and projects throughout the football season. Curt Menefee (Sportscaster), Terry Bradshaw (pro quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers - 14 years), Howie Long (pro defensive end for the Oakland Raiders - 13 years), Michael Strahan (pro defensive end for the NY Giants - 14 years), Jimmy Johnson (Pro football coach for the Dallas Cowboys & the Miami Dolphins - 10 years). There is a lot of male machoism and guys just having the time of their life, telling stories of the real sport that they love. It is camaraderie at it best!
You ask what does Fox Sports have to do with marketing?
Well, I was in to visit my dentist the other day and I picked up the latest issue of the Sporting News. In it there was an article about Jim Kelly telling the story of who his idol was and is to this day (as told by Mat Crossman). He tells as a kid that he admired the Steeler's quarterback for his toughness and arm strength. And when he met him personally he was really impressed with Terry's attitude of "telling it like it is". "He doesn't sugarcoat anything. He says what's on his mind."
There are plenty of people that may disagree with what Terry says in public but he is not afraid of the critics. That is probably why he has been married a couple of times and is often the butt of every joke. But you know that he takes it with great assault.
I like to describe my personality like Terry's jovial persona. He is very laid back, gives these Southern analogies and has lots of people that love him. He is able to laugh at himself and recognize that life is not that serious. I have been found on many occasions to say silly dumb things that usually come out very wrong. But like my father-in-law says, "That is Mike and he would never intentionally say anything to hurt the ones that he loves".
The clients that have been with me the longest know that I will tell them what I actually feel about their marketing questions and I am not there to take advantage of them. I will bend over backwards to show them that I really believe in them and how they can grow their business.
I don't mind having some of the same qualities as Terry Bradshaw. I am memorable, my clients won't forget me. Sometimes I think that my personality is the best part of Inkspot Graphics!
© 2010 Michael Johnson - Inkspot Graphics. All rights reserved.
We are down at the Manzanita, OR this week with my wife's family for their annual beach trip. It is beautiful down here and a great way to beat the heat from Portland.
Part of my routine is to wake up early and go down the the local store and get the paper. I am always amazed at the size of the paper (and for only $1.25 - what a deal!) I walked into the store to see a retired gentleman who introduced himself as Carl "the Candy Man". They call him that becauses he always hands out salt water taffy to all the patrons. Carl said, "Can I buy you a cup of coffee?" I was the only one in there and said, "Sure, that sounds great!"
He gave me a synopsis of his life story in the matter of 15 minutes. Carl was born in Vermont, a World War Two vet and made another two tours of action in SE Asia (his primary job was as weatherman for the armed services). He settled down and raised a family in Hermiston, OR (home of the watermelon in Eastern OR) where he retired in 1972. They moved to Manzanita where they purchased the only grocery store in town. He now just works on the weekend and putters around the rest of the week.
Sometimes, it is great to just slow down and take in what the situation offers you. I have always appreciated hearing stories from the aged wisdom in my community. And can you imagine walking into a Safeway or Albertson's store and having the manager offer you a cup of coffee and reminisce stories of your past?
© 2010 Michael Johnson - Inkspot Graphics. All rights reserved.