customers, Design

Be A Part of THIER Team

Haiti ShoesV3

Part of a good print piece is that the client is overjoyed with what is done.

“It’s exactly what I wanted,” they tell you.

And then you thank them for being on their team!

Yes, being on their team is important.

It saves time and ultimately puts out good work because it is a collaboration that results in exactly what the client wants.

And that fellow marketers is what we get paid to do–make clients happy.

I like to use portfolio pages to help customers realize how important their point of view is to any project.

Sure, I can wave my creative magic wand and create lots of interesting pieces, but the best pieces are when I have a structure and direction for what the project needs..

This poster started with text–and not everything you see here.

It also had an important conversation: It makes me think of muddy feet.


Their idea turns into color, format and structure. All that remains are some text issues that are easy to complete, and the Board is happy and ready for more things to be “designed.”

The process began with a team.

Knowing what the client “envisions” is like having it done.  Image and colors are chosen.  Font found.  Format.  Get draft out and approved.  Done, and done.

I have in my portfolio booklet other projects that started in the same way–text, but unlike this one there were several go arounds for images and colors.  And we all know the infamous “I’ll know it when I see it.”  Don’t do that.  Don’t be so eager that you don’t get what they envision.  I show them all the drafts and versions that took several days to go back-and-forth between meetings.  In the end they knew what they wanted –just felt it wasn’t appropriate to mention (“I’m really not that creative”)

And they don’t all go that easy either, but figuring out if we are all driving in the same vehicle makes it much easier to get to the destination.  Time and cost effective, and most importantly it makes the relationship stronger because we are on the same “creative team.”

business, customers, Design, Marketing, Social Media

Lessons From History


Art is something that must be taken in context.

Looking at a big stone wall with carved figures is something easily passed up on the way to view Matisse, but every business person needs to stop for a moment and glance at this incredible marketing piece.

Here is one of the first Kings of the Assyrian civilization, yes, the man on the left wearing a watch.  Over three thousand years ago, this wise King knew that he had to advertise his power and strength to the masses, so he had carved in stone a life-size model with all his best attributes. Through symbols of the day he was telling his people that he was rich, smart, chosen by God, and had strength and wisdom.  He also put in a few things that scared them into not questioning his authority.

The King knew what his tag line was: Follow me and I will protect you. Fight me and I will kill you!

We all know that art was just propaganda for an illiterate society for thousands of years, but what is striking here is that this Assyrian King used what was most common in his time and country, large stone walls in front of the city.  Everyone walked here to the market, so that is where his message went.  Not inside the castle where the common man did not go, but right where everyone could “read it!”

Visual marketing impact that reached the most people possible.

Oh there were words scribbled along it as well, but for the most part, the images in stone touched the people– and they got it.

Do people get yours?  Where is your message anyway?

If your ADs are hidden, who is going to find you? Respect you?  Buy from you?

Is it somewhere where everyone goes?  Say Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter?

Don’t miss the ability to reach people out of fear.  Social Media works.

Just ask the Assyrians, they ruled for for for several hundred years!


business, customers, Marketing, Social Media

It all comes down to PRACTICE

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So you want to change the world with your product and/or service?

You want people to come in and buy, talk about you, be a part of your growth.

Strategy is important.  You must sit down and make a plan with a professional. Your brother’s kid will know how to help to tell your personal story through a solid, long-term strategy.

Marketing is essential.  And its not like your Daddy’s marketing.  It takes knowledge of an ever changing, fast moving medium that is not optional in todays world.

Practice is not optional.  You will fail once or twice, but you will respond and get back up.  You will go two steps forward and one back once in awhile, maybe more.  But you will practice and achieve results

business, customers, Marketing, Social Media

365 Days


Part of what makes marketing work is knowing that it takes time, and practice.

The business you run has passion and purpose, but it needs exposure to be successful.

With Social Media there is a sense that everything moves at speed of light.

On the surface it does, but in reality, Social Media is a slow, well-thought out process.


Of course, when your Facebook post goes viral, you think “Wow, that was fast,”  but remember the slow process of daily posting and responding.  The coordination of pages and websites.  The blog and all its daily wisdoms?

We don’t start with the tree.

We start with the seed.

We water the seed and give it sunshine and rest.

We prune the tree.

We watch it grow.

We practice.

business, customers, Marketing, Social Media

Are You Really Listening?


I have a client who made me administrator to their Facebook.  I poked around and then saw a message from a new “friend” with a question that sounded a bit setup, perhaps a competitor.  It hit a chord with the owner.

“How do you delete that,” she said.

“You cannot delete it,” I told her and her business planner. “You must respond to it.”

I put together a response, directing our new friend to come and visit, check things out for herself and not rely on rumors to make a decision about using the services.  I sent it off to the owner on Monday morning.

Tuesday she was working later in the afternoon and would check it out. Wednesday she was going to do it.  Friday morning I was preparing to fire her as my client and then it appeared, as written. Done.

Understand that answering tough questions is part of owning a business.  Its like parenthood.  You cannot not answer questions. You cannot delete them or avoid them.  They will come back to bite you.

In this case the “rumor” was about certification.  Reality?  It’s not required in the state.  Response?  I have a many years of training and am a compassionate and caring provider.  Come in and meet me.

Done, with style and class.  (of course it was six days late, but better that it was done.)

Don’t take criticism for granted.  It is a gift.

And the firing part–I need clients to trust me or social media will not work.  Now the client is more confident in something that was a concern–in me and the certification.