Graphics Empire

Websites are cool to make, but they can take a lot of time if you want them to look like a pro made them. One thing I’ve always needed when building eCommerce sites are high quality ‘call to action’ buttons like this (the button works):

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When we put together Graphics Empire I really wanted to make sure we could offer some great content for free. I’ve compiled what I feel are some of the best royalty free call to action buttons out there and put them all up front for free. Just download and use to your heart’s delight all over the interwebs. There also an awesome eBook included just because I like hooking people up.

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Enjoy!

 

Littering is NOT Advertising

I was reminded of this picture from last year when I went to my mailbox today and found business cards stuffed in the front of each box.  Most of the cards had already fallen to the ground and been blown around.  The picture above is of a real estate agent’s flier that was designed to be hung on a front door.  It was blown down the street in the wind where it landed on my car and got wet in the rain that followed.  The flier got stuck to my car, the colors bled and it took a wax and buff in order to get the ink removed from my car.

Littering is NOT Advertising.

I will never call this real estate agent with the desire to do business because he littered my neighborhood.  When you’re looking for ways to market your business think of ways that will stand out and be appreciated.  Door hangers have a success rate that is high enough that they continue to be a constant tool by real estate agents, gardeners, cleaning services and pizza joints but that doesn’t mean they are the best solution.

Get creative and don’t just do what the guy before you did.

Push vs Pull

Laguna Beach, CA - Photo by Tyler Jorgenson

Push vs Pull

Last week I drove in from the beach to do the radio show.  Right before I left I took the above picture of an area in the rocks where the water seemed to be in a constant battle with itself.  The wave would come crashing up through the channel and just as it was starting to recede back into the ocean a new wave would come powering through and the two would battle it out until, finally, the incoming wave prevailed and the water came gently washing up to where I was standing.

A Parable

Perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve been immersed in marketing over the past few months out at USC but I saw this as a bit of a parable.  In marketing there are, traditionally, two forms of taking a product to market.  The first is to “push” it to market through retailers, distributors or other established distribution channels.  The second is to “pull” the market to your product through direct advertising.  Picture billboards, TV and Radio commercials, mailers and other expensive and flashy marketing hoopla.

Enter The Age of Modern Marketing

Although those two types of product marketing exist today I see a different type of “push” and “pull” happening thanks to the flourishing social media channels.  I call social media “The New Pull” and I’ll tell you why.

The social aspect of social media is what makes it so amazingly powerful.  The ability to engage a customer and connect with them at an individual level allows a company to deepen customer loyalty to a level that has never existed before.  A company opening a Twitter account but then just constantly pushing information out is missing the point.  It’s about engaging the consumer.

Good

My favorite good example happened to me a little over a year ago.  I went to Home Depot to get a part I needed and was frustrated that they didn’t have it.  At the time I was testing out FourSquare (which I opted against using long term) and posted through that site to Twitter a note expressing my frustration.  Within an hour a representative from Home Depot contacted me and asked me if there was anything they could do to help me locate the part.

Bad

A bad example is PayPal.  They have a twitter account but from everything I can gather it is used like a bullhorn, one way, and not a way to engage their customers.  I think this happens when a company has dominate market share and isn’t worried about a few people being frustrated that PayPal shut their accounts down without warning and held their funds for 180 days.  Sure, it’s in their Terms and Conditions but an explanation would be nice.

The New Pull

If you’re going to be on social media sites, you have to be social.  Remember what your Mom always told you and mind your manners.  If somebody tweets something good about you say thank you.  If you let somebody down say you’re sorry and do better next time.  Being polite in business is what social media is all about.

Win Disneyland Tickets

disneyland giveaway

The BizNinja is giving away 4 Disneyland tickets (good for both Disney’s California Adventure AND Disneyland two parks in two days, not park hopper) a $396 value!  Tickets must be used by 5/14/2011.

There are 3 ways to win.  Each one counts as an entry, with up to 3 entries per person.

1. Become a fan of BizNinja on Facebook.
2. Submit a topic suggestion below.
3. Tweet this.

Entries are accepted up until March 23rd, 2011 12pm PST and winner will be announced live on air during the BizNinja Radio Hour between 3 and 4pm.

Again, don’t feel you have to do all of them but the more you do the more chances you have to win.

Radio Killed the Video Star

Yesterday was my first live radio show and it went.  Yes, that’s it… it went.  I don’t think it was absolutely horrible but there is definitely a lot of room for improvement.  Luckily I have an opportunity to improve next week with episode 2.

I don’t know what I expected with the show and went in a bit more unorganized that planned.  There was a lot of ambiguity about how everything would happen with the show engineer and the station manager.  In order to figure it out I just jumped in with both feet.

Perhaps the most surprising thing was the amazing support I received from friends by logging on and listening.

I talked about it a little in the show today, but just barely touched on it really.   The last couple years have been really tough for me and the support from so many people meant more than I can adequately communicate.  If you were one of the people that listened on AM radio, streaming over the internet, texted me before, during or after the show, sent facebook wishes or questions or any other sort of support THANK YOU.  It means a lot to me to have so many thoughtful people in my life.

Lessons Learned From Episode 1

1. Wearing the headphones while on air does a great job of muffling out the other sounds in the studio but they also make it so all you hear when you’re talking is your own voice.  This took a bit of time to get used to.

2. Sitting at a table with a microphone and talking into space is kind of weird.

3. People liked it more when I spoke off script than when I read.  I did too.

4. I could have had a laptop up and running during the show.  That would have saved a couple of trees by not printing off a bunch of my old blog posts as backup material.

5. I need to come up with a sign off.

6. Have somebody to talk to, even if it’s the engineer.  Just another voice to break up my talking helps.

7. Take questions earlier.  I didn’t feel like I’d gotten into a groove until the whole thing felt more like a conversation.

8. Bring water.  Talking makes me thirsty.

9. Relax and let the show flow.

If you haven’t already enter for a chance to win $75 in adwords credit.  If you win, I’ll even help you set up your first ad campaign.

I’ll have the podcast up soon and of course you can listen next week as we air episode 2.

Introduction to Facebook Advertising

In this post you’ll find a 3 minute video on how to advertise on Facebook.  This is a VERY rough video and is intended to be an initial overview of the process.  There are a lot of resources on facebook and elsewhere but this video was done at the request of a reader.

The video was done in one take, so forgive the abrupt ending.  Facebook advertising isn’t right for every product or service, but it is a great solution for a lot of things.  Try it out.