dont market an advertisement

Are You Trying to Make a Profit From Your Marketing Efforts?

Are You Trying to Make a Profit From Your Marketing Efforts?


You will have a much harder time marketing your business with this mindset.

Here is what I mean…

Automotive shops as an example…use an oil change advertisement as a “lead in” service to offer in efforts to obtain new customers. Not a bad idea at all except when you try to profit from the oil change. And many of them try to…

How many times have you seen a coupon in the newspaper with an oil change priced above $10.00 as a “special price?” I have seen a few too many…and with the exception of diesel vehicles and specialty vehicles…this price point is trying to earn a minimal $1.00 in profits so the owner doesn’t feel bad giving the discount. Their first mistake.


“An automotive shop that mailed out coupons providing no savings (due to printing errors) produced similar results to the ones with actual savings. The coupons both produced minimal to no customer retention after the sale.”

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini


Our earlier focused articles on retaining the customers you do have, as that is the least expensive and most profitable form of marketing.

But since this post focuses on new customer generation, we should be focused on one primary thought here.

Lifetime Value of the customer.

What is the value of a customer to your business over their entire buying cycle with you? How many referrals can your business earn from this customer? Using the example above:

What if the automotive shop gave away their first three oil changes to a new customer? Most shop owners would cringe at the thought of losing the $50.00 in supplies and parts…and the total of $100.00 in labor over the three oil changes (at most). For a total of $150.00, you can cultivate a lifetime relationship with a customer by providing additional back – end services and products that will enhance the customer’s vehicles (keep paying attention internet marketers).

And a lifetime automotive customer is worth a minimum of $3000.00 over a five year period to an automotive shop! So how many times would you like to trade $150.00 for $3000.00 in sales in your business?

My questions to you and your business from this post and my challenges to you are:

1) What is your “oil change”?

2) How many of this valuable service are you willing to part with to gain critical new customers?

3) What back end services or products do you offer that can enhance a customer’s lives and start the profitable relationship with them?

4) What part of your front end marketing efforts are you going to change TODAY?

No Money Guerrilla Marketing Techniques for Home Businesses

Guerrilla marketing isn’t necessarily an old technique to market your business

But it’s finally making its way around the business world because more and more businesses are bootstrapping their way to success.

Guerrilla marketing is quite different from traditional marketing efforts. Guerrilla marketing means going after the conventional goals of profits, sales and growth but doing it by using unconventional means, such as expanding offerings during gloomy economic days to inspire customers to increase the size of each purchase.Instead of asking that you invest money, guerrilla marketing suggests you invest time, energy, imagination and knowledge instead.

Source: Entrepreneur

Guerrilla marketing often employs free and unique methods to leave marketing messages in the most unlikely places and pulls a person’s attention, unlike traditional marketing which pushes their message on the viewer.

The following tips are ways to get started with guerrilla marketing for your home business that will cost you no money:

Suggestion 1: Leave your business cards in the most unlikely of places

Your business card can be reused in imaginative ways even more than just passing them out to people you meet. Try leaving your business cards where people are likely to find them such as inside books, in mailboxes or apply it to windshields in a car parking lot. Try not to annoy people by bombarding them with your business cards – be sure to leave them in places where your market is active.


Suggestion 2: Add interactivity and reward systems for your customers

People love to interact and be rewarded for their time and effort online and offline. Instead of giving away coupons to you customers try using a reward system where people that buy from you can earn points and even trade them to other people – this will make a game after a customer buys that keeps them around and active within your community. Think of your guerrilla marketing technique using reward systems much like the reward systems used on popular video games in which players much earn coins!

Suggestion 3: Allow your customers to share deals on the social web

An effective guerrilla marketing technique you could apply to your business is by allowing customers to share deals with others on the social web. Much like implementing a reward system in your business you could create a page which tells customers to share with others and they too can earn a deal along with the customer receiving an extra discount on their purchase.


The hardest part about trying to describe guerrilla marketing is that it really depends on your own creativity to market your business. To effectively use this marketing platform you will need to go outside the box and try out any imaginative idea that may pop into your brain – always keep your eyes out for little ways you can apply your marketing message to existing areas online and offline.

boca raton web design

Corporate Style Guide Elements 2017

A company or startups comes to you, requesting a logo…What do you do?

boca raton web design

Quick Download: Identity Kit PDF Template and Indesign Files

Design a cool logo that describes their company morals, goals, and iconic look.  All done?


It would be irresponsible to simply leave said company with a logo, because once they take off, they will begin to distribute your work incorrectly:

  • They put out a magazine ad, and the magazine designs whatever their best “guess” is for the look of the company
  • They wrap their fleet of vehicles with a completely different company, and their best “guess”
  • T-shirts
  • Website, another “guess”
  • Flyers, brochures, business cards, the list goes on and on…

Your client needs a brand identity guideline system AKA “Style Guide”

A style guide is a packaged set of guidelines and restrictions, complete with colors, fonts, company slogans and taglines (depicting their values and goals), logo usage and restrictions, and most of all, packaged versions of logo and/or iconic symbols, as well as fonts and hex/rgb/cmyk company color values.

Below are a few examples of how big corporations protect their brand identity with style guides:

Check out the Twitter style guide here.

Check out the Lexus style guide here.

Check out Dell’s Style guide here.

Check out MailChimp’s style guide here.


In the spirit of Free Design Fridays, we give you a downloadable version of our style guide, where you can download, change colors, and text, you you have a good place to start for your next style guide project.  It is our responsibility to our clients and to our own personal curation of projects to submit a company’s identity system with a thorough and concise format in which they can distribute to their signage companies, magazine and newspaper ad partners, web developers, and any designer or company that they wish to work with concerning their brand.

The best program for building a style guide would be InDesign, by Adobe.  If you don’t have Adobe Creative Cloud by now, you may want to pick it up, as it is essential for this type of career.  If you are a small business going for the DIY, I would suggest contacting a professional to help you edit this template.  You can check with us for any questions or problems publishing your new style guide…


Download Template Here



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Free Design Friday: PSD Templates for Ladies’ T-Shirts, Tanks, and Long Sleeves

Free PSD Downloadable Template for Womens Cotton Mockups

Add your own designs to mock-up clothing. Feel free to download and use this template to use on your websites. Below is a snap shot of all the colors available in layer comps. Credit goes to Lex our in house graphic designer.

In Photoshop

Open the smart object and add your logo

Select the layer comps you wish to export,

Go to export > Layer Comps to Files…You’re done. Enjoy!

Downloadable Template for Next Level Ladies Tank (N1533)

Download the Template

Downloadable Template for Next Level Ladies Tee (N3900)

Download the Template

72000L – Anvil Ladies’ Mid-Scoop French Terry Mock Up PSD – Front and Back

Download the Template


Freelancers and Service Providers – Stop negotiating prices!

Brands Deliver Value, Commodities Compete on Price


Some argue that our economy is in the worst shape it’s been in since World War II. Though that point is debatable, the fact that America is coming out of a serious recession, is undeniable. Even with huge marketing budgets, invaluable business partnerships, and far-reaching advertising campaigns, major corporations are struggling to keep their heads above water these days. So what are small business owners like you to do, particularly without the marketing and advertising budget of major corporations, to keep your business from sinking?

We read and hear dismal reports everyday of plummeting employment rates, slumping sales, and declining figures representing the tightening of consumer purse strings. That’s why it’s more important now than ever for your business to be both sensitive and relevant to consumer needs.

You see, underneath every sales inquiry is a very basic question each potential customer wants to know and that is, “Why should I pay you?” Hard-working people can’t afford to separate from their money without understanding what immediate benefit your business can offer that’s worth their hard-earned dollar. If you can address the pressing concerns underlying the hesitance to buy, then you can convert plenty of prospects, no matter how turbulent the economic climate.

Here are some fundamental principles for you to apply, that will lead you on a path to increased sales conversions and more satisfied, and ultimately, repeat customers. Hey, we all want that, right?

1. Articulate Exactly What You Can Contribute

For a few moments, I want you to forget about firming up your handshake and rehearsing your opening sales lines. Instead, think more about developing a thoughtful and concise unique selling proposition that truly reflects the value you offer. You see, when you’re facing a reluctant consumer, which defines most prospects in these current economic times, you need to tell them what you bring to the table that will help them get what they want.

Leo J. Pusateri, Financial Training and Consulting expert says,

“Most advisors have not taken enough introspective time to really understand what unique value they bring to client relationships,”

Because of this, they lose sales. You don’t have to be a financial advisor for this rule to apply. If you find that consumers aren’t buying what you’re attempting to sell, you need to dig deeper to unveil your hidden value.

2. Work What You’ve Got

A lot of small business owners panic when business is slow. As a result, they end up frantically looking for ways to go after new prospects, while overlooking consumers that have previously purchased products and services. To that I say, big mistake; why not work what you’ve got? Clients that support your business expect to be catered to with exceptional products, promotions, and special offers. Be sure to maximize your database. Greet clients on special occasions and be sure to thank them for their business often. They’ll happily pay you for new services if you have a great track record of delivering on your promises and providing excellent customer service.

Just as with any relationship, if you expect to maintain it, treat the other party well. When you do, you can tap into that healthy business relationship again and again. That way, you won’t have to spend precious time and money trying to woo new prospects.

3. Stay True to Your Niche

It can be tempting to venture out into new territory as a way of expanding your platform and aggressively growing your business, particularly when you fear the outcome of “Placing all your eggs in one basket.” But before you shift the focus of your business, be sure it doesn’t carry you outside of your niche market. It’s nearly impossible to convince folks to pay you for a service that neither you or they understand.

In 5 words: Stick to what you know. If you’re looking for ways to grow, try adding improved products, services and strategic partnerships with like-minded individuals, businesses, and organizations. Otherwise, you could end up wasting money in a market that doesn’t want what you have to offer. Worse yet, you just may end up isolating your base you worked so hard to get in the first place.

Keep in mind that, it’s not impossible for your small business to thrive during times of economic hardship; but it does take intelligence, strategy, and determination. Above all, you must genuinely understand and care about your consumers if you expect to develop long-standing and fruitful relationships with them.

If you find it difficult to recall all the lessons contained in this article, here it is in a nutshell:

Know your customer, know your value, and know how to communicate it.

Business Marketing Blueprint

Successful Small Businesses Focus on Profits

Marketing success is measured by profits and how they are increased. Why else do small business entrepreneurs exist? Successful entrepreneurs measure profits every month, quarter and year. They compare them to last years results to see if they are on the right path. But it takes skills and non-stop effort to succeed. What are those skills? How do we position our businesses to take advantage of our marketplace?


Focus on What You Do Best and Be the Best at It

Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it? Well it is when we are starting out but we tend to get ahead of ourselves by branching out too much. We wake up one morning and say “Hey that’s not what I intended to do when I started this business”.

If we start a small vegetable stand on the corner of a busy highway we might decide that in addition to vegetables we should try to sell fruit, hanging baskets, bread, jellies, pine straw and a myriad of items to make the best use of our business. But what we really do is create a hodgepodge of unrelated items with different profits which tend to go down as we concentrate on another different product. Before you know it your not sure what business you are in any more.

Sound familiar? I think you will agree that we need to concentrate our focus on what we do best and be the best at it. Then you can make relevant decisions that lead to increased profits because you have focused on all details of the business.

Marketing Plans for Making More Profits

Every small business must have a marketing plan. A blueprint of the business that helps to show the path to increased profits. Focus your businesses marketing on a central idea that you believe in with all your heart. This is were you start. Describe your value proposition so you have a clear idea of what your business needs to do to achieve massive profits. Then when your business is focused you can make strategic decisions to bring life to the business. A small business needs more then an idea it needs an all encompassing strategy focused on its value proposition.

As we develop our marketing plan it is good to keep in mind that successful marketing starts with a quality product or service. One that saves time and or money. That’s what attracts prospects. You see every one has finite amounts of time and money so any savings translates into increased benefits for your prospect. Makes sense right?

Develop a Strategy to Follow

Now we can develop a strategy that shows us the path to follow to profits. If we know who our customers or prospects are we can make a judgment on what benefits attracts these customers and prospects enabling us to increase revenues that in turn lead to increased profits by providing those benefits.

Once a strategy is developed we can initiate tactics to bring our vision to life. Tactics are task needed to complete strategic initiatives. Once in place they needed to be monitored and tweaked so the business successfully creates profits to make the business a success.

If you put these ideas in motion you will see your success start to generated the much needed profits. Its like a pipeline that starts to dribble, then stream income to meet your budget demands.

Free Design Friday: PSD Templates for T-Shirts, Tanks, and Long Sleeves

Free PSD Downloadable Template for Cotton Mockups

Add your own designs to mock-up clothing. Feel free to download and use this template to use on your websites. Below is a snap shot of all the colors available in layer comps. Credit goes to Lex our in house graphic designer.

In Photoshop

Open the smart object and add your logo

Select the layer comps you wish to export,

Go to export > Layer Comps to Files…You’re done. Enjoy!

Gildan Cotton Tee Mockup PSD – Front & Back –  (G2000)



Download the Template

Cotton Tank Top Mockup PSD – Front & Back

Download the Template

Gildan Long Sleeve Cotton Shirt (G2400) Mock Up PSD – Front and Back

Download the Template


digital attention span

Good Distractions: Time Management for the Digitally Connected Entrepreneur

Your Attention Span is Worse Than a Gold Fish

digital attention span

If you’re reading this right now, pat yourself on the back. It took you around 8 seconds to get to this intro, which according to a study by Microsoft is the average attention span of a digitally connected consumer. This is comparable to that of a goldfish. As a business owner you wear many hats in the course of a day. In our effort to beat the clock we run the risk of burn out and playing havoc with our careers because we feel like we’re falling behind. In many cases, multitasking is not optional, it’s necessary.

I’m at the office on a Saturday working on 5 different things as I write this article.

  1. I’m writing this article
  2. I’m checking my live chat (to the bottom right of this article, message us and say hi!)
  3. I’m downloading a copy of a website on our FTP
  4. I have a guest checking into my Airbnb so I’m messaging them
  5. Lex is loading in new creative services in our on-demand dashboard so we’re going back and forth on the whiteboard

The list continues.

A few months ago while listening to NPR I came across a time optimizing exercise called single tasking. According to Doctor James Rouse, co-founder of the Healthy Skoop, our brains are not built to multi task.
Our mind is wire to focus on one task at a time. He claims when we’re multi tasking we’re simply stopping one task and leaving it unfinished then switching back to another. We finish about 50 percent less when trying to tackle multiple tasks at once, instead of focusing and completing tasks in a linear function.

Give it a try. Take 1 hour a day and dedicate it to a single task. Turn off your phone, your music, and close your office door. You may find that you end up with a more productive morning.

Here are 4 More Ways to be Productive Today

Utilizing your hidden sales team.

How many hats do you wear at your business?

No matter how well you perform as the main salesperson for your business, there will always be certain key salespeople available who can communicate the benefits of your products or services better than anyone.

Are you recognizing and rewarding these important people?

Are you encouraging them to reach out to as many prospects as possible?

Are these key salespeople loyal to you and your business?

Do you even know who these critical salespeople are?

my refferals

You should. They are your customers.

Customers are the most overlooked and under appreciated marketing assets a business has. And just like regular sales employees, your customers need to be motivated to sell on your behalf.

Aside from answering a specific question from a friend or family member, people rarely start up a conversation about a positive experience they had with a business. It just doesn’t often happen. Customers will tell an average of nine people about a bad experience with a business and no one about a good experience.

reviews matter

If you sit for an hour in the waiting room at the doctor’s office you will tell people about it. If the waitress brings you a roast beef sandwich and you’re a vegetarian you will be sure to mention it when you go home. But when the doctor sees you right away and the waitress brings you your salad it doesn’t cross your mind to say a word about the experiences to anyone.

So if good service and reliable products don’t motivate your customers to spread the good word about your business, what does? Have you tried asking your customers to sell on your behalf?

It’s like asking someone to dance.

Take a deep breath

    Work up the nerve

        And Just Ask!

Ask your customers to mention your business to their friends and family. Ask your customers to share with you their friends and family members who could benefit from your services. If your customers are pleased with their experience then they may be willing to share some names and numbers with you.

There are more organized ways to request the assistance of your customers as well. Implement a formal referral program. Every time someone comes in and mentions that a current customer referred them, reward that current customer. Keep track of referrals in your customer database and enable customers to accumulate significant discounts. Provide the business-generating customers with free services as a sincere thank you. Recognize them with a hand written thank you note. Heck, reward them with cash.

Present each customer with an offer to meet with, give guidance to, or advise anyone important to them who might have a need for your services or products. Mention that there is no expectation of purchase, but a desire to offer the value that your customer appreciates to his or her friends, family, and coworkers.

A loyal customer who brings in new customers is incredibly valuable to your business. You are spending a specific amount of marketing money to bring in one customer, except now with referrals you are acquiring more than one customer. With a successful referral program you are slashing your marketing costs per customer.

Implementing a successful referral program is the highest leverage marketing tactic that you can carry out.