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The Written Word – Making a Comeback

By | advertising, branding, Direct Marketing, email marketing, Graphic Design, Promotional Marketing, website | No Comments

I’ve noticed more and more lately that writing is sort of “last week.” It’s old school. Blame it on technology, if you like. Pick one: whether it’s cell phone texting,  word processing auto correct,  or spell check they’ve all contributed to the slow demise of a basic skill. Sometimes I wonder if a person realizes that they’ve sent me a business email that ignores the basics of spelling and grammar. When I get those emails IDK. I’m def not ROTFL. It’s okay to smile, we’ve all done it.

When is the last time you sat down and wrote something? Some of us write daily emails to clients, friends and colleagues, but are they well written? Do they sound professional? When is the last time you sat down and really tried to put your thoughts down, or explain something clearly and concisely? Well, the same technology that may have stolen our ability to write is also pushing us back in that direction.

As a graphic artist, I’m often asked to design logos and even web pages for entrepreneurs who are ready to launch their new dream businesses. They’ve got an idea and are so enthusiastic and passionate about getting started. When I ask what their web content will be like, their eyes glaze over for a second and then you can see it dawn on them that they’ve got to come up with (zoinks!) content? Panic! Words? Write something?

Do you blog? Do you keep your websites dynamic? Are search engines finding your page? Do you have printed marketing collateral like brochures? Do you need to send newsletters or sales letters? Do you need help?

Thankfully, there are still people who like to write and do it well. It’s a resurgence of the copywriter. These professionals can write just about anything. It’s what they do. Many of them are small entrepreneurs just like you. They’re easy to work with and can really make a difference for your business. We know the best and most creative folks who feel as passionate about what they write as we do about what we design. Ask us for referrals if you need help with a big job, or a small one.

Marketing: All Wheels need to be in orbit.

By | advertising, branding, corporate branding, design, Direct Mail, Direct Marketing, email marketing, full moon design group, Graphic Design, marketing, Promotional Marketing, social media, strategy, Uncategorized, website | One Comment

Introducing the Lunar Cycle: All marketing wheels need to be in orbit!
*Note: Our model is to serve as a summary of good marketing practices.

To be successful in business, you have always needed a marketing strategy. Your marketing strategy has always needed to promote your brand while protecting it at the same time. And the result of a truly successful marketing plan is a well recognized brand of a profitable business! Smaller businesses struggle daily to keep up with their marketing and branding. It’s easy to get focused on one particular method and forget about the rest. I am writing this blog today to stress that marketing strategies have not changed and as a business, you can’t survive on just one approach!

Full Moon Design Group’s Luna Cycle

Print doesn’t substitute your networking activities and web doesn’t substitute your print materials and social media does NOT substitute for all of it! Instead, you will want to make sure that they are all working together, in unison, promoting your brand and communicating the same message.

There are five different marketing wheels and each one orbits around your brand. Each of the five, have their own moving parts. We will be expanding this blog into several posts in an effort to start the conversation of each of the wheels and the components it is made of.

It all starts with your Company Culture. Developing a strong company culture will ensure that your company’s mission is brought to the forefront and that you are getting the Word of Mouth marketing that you want.

Next, you have your Activities. These activities consist of Special Events that you hold as a company, Charities or Non-Profit organizations that you and your company support, local Chambers that you are a member of, Professional Associations that make sense for your company and employees, Sponsorships that promote your brand to the right audience and Tradeshows that will help you get in front of your audience.

Your printed materials will consist of creative Ads, Direct Mail, Stationary, Brochures/Flyers/Pushcards, Promotional products and Presentation Materials. When engaging in your Activities, it’s always helpful to have printed material to support your brand. What printed material you have at each activity should be relevant and impactful.

Moving to the digital world, you now need to have a website. Your website should be clean, inviting and engaging to your current clients and prospective ones. Features of your website that should not be overlooked include a Blog, Newsroom and Email sign up form for your newsletter. In your Blog, you’ll be the expert and offer advice, your Newsroom will keep people abreast of the “goings on” in your company, and your Email newsletter will be a place for special offerings and information.

Expanding into the digital world, we find Social Media and boy does it get complicated and overwhelming! Social Media is an all access pass to the world. It’s a free medium for you to engage strangers, communicate your thoughts & ideas, and invite people in to really “get to know you” as a business. Social Media is now the gateway to higher rankings from search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Ask. To keep it simple, we’ve grouped Social Media into several descriptive categories…and this just scratches the surface!

The most familiar outlet is the Lifestreams/Microblogs which include Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. Within these Lifestreams, you will find Location Based applications like Gowalla, Foursquare, and Whrrl…great ways to promote your business and interact with the public. When blogging or offering useful white papers, Social Bookmarking is a great way to make sure people find you. Popular methods are Delicious or Stumbleupon. Moving on to more fun stuff, you’ll find the Media Sharing sites like YouTube, Ustream and Flickr. For businesses, it’s important to participate in Business and Niche Networking sites like LinkedIn, Ning & Spoke. And last, but not least, you have the Review based sites including Yelp, Google & Yahoo.

The sixth component of the Luna Cycle is Public Relations. Your public relations strategy should be coordinated with your marketing strategy and pushing the information out to the public. Full Moon Design Group has strategic PR partners in place that we work with frequently to ensure our clients get exposure in all aspects of their business, in as many places where their audience resides.

5 Quick Marketing Tips for Gaining Market Share on a Tight Budget

By | advertising, branding, corporate branding, full moon design group, marketing, social media, website | No Comments

We know that money is tight. But does that mean you should stop talking to your clients or looking for new ones? NO! Times like these are your opportunity to stand out from the competition. While your competitors are crawling into the corner, you should be stealing the spotlight!  Here are a few tips that will help you gain market share and shine even brighter now.

Tip #1:

Attend networking meetings.

royblumenthal

royblumenthal

The best business relationships start face-to-face. Plus, most networking meetings occur during meal time…and since you have to eat, you might as well be meeting prospects as well. Networking opportunities surround you! The first place to look is your local chamber. Then you will want to ask fellow members where else they network and interact with other businesses owners. Another outlet is to find something that you have a passion for, like a non-profit group or arts group. Get involved and build those relationships. You could network morning, noon and night if you really wanted to! But don’t forget, it’s all about who YOU are (See Tip #4) and what YOU have to offer.  What you get in return will soon follow.  NetworkInAustin is a great Austin resource to find networking opportunities around town.

Tip#2:

Matt Hamm

Matt Hamm

Utilize social media outlets. Currently, most social media sites are free. This is a great time and place to establish yourself as an industry expert. First, most companies are still not using these outlets to reach their customers.  Those that are, may not be direct competitors. If they are direct competitors, then that’s even more reason to make your presence known.  Second, you have friends and colleagues and they have friends and colleagues, and so on. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. are all great places to share your knowledge and they are where most people (2010 stats and facts) these days reside online. People are hungry to learn – hungrier now than they’ve ever been before and they usually turn to their immediate networks first to find the information they seek.  Make sure it’s you that they are getting their knowledge from! (and having a presence on these sites actually helps your SEO!)  Not sure where to start?  Call us:  512.428.9072.  We can help.

Tip#3:

Ask for referrals. This is something that we all forget to do and it should be the easiest task of all! Pick out your top clients – especially if they are always raving about your products or services – and ask them if they can introduce you to some more prospects. You will find that your happiest clients are more than willing to help you in growing your business…You just have to ask! Quality referrals most often come from those with whom you have already done business.  Full Moon Design Group knows this and we are rewarding those who think of us and send business our way.  We recently launched our 2nd Annual Referral Reward Campaign.  Our rewards prove to our clients that we appreciate their confidence in us.

Tip #4:

Ensure that you have a memorable identity.

matthew solle

matthew solle

It’s simple – marketing is consistently getting in front of prospects with a consistent look and feel on a repetitive basis. Your business brand or identity is the foundation that you will need to build credibility in the marketplace. If you are going to seek business from your competitors, you better make sure that you look like you have a business. No self-designed business cards that you have printed on perforated stock from your local office supply store…nope…not allowed! You need exceptional quality assets to let your audience know that you can provide that same quality in the products or services you offer.  Not sure what I mean by brand/identity? Take a look at Full Moon Design Group portfolio section to give you more of an idea:

http://www.fullmoondesigngroup.com/portfolio.html

Tip #5:

Make sure you have a website. If you don’t, now is the time. The web is no longer a luxury for businesses…it’s a must. Times are changin’ folks and your website is no longer your online brochure. It’s a place where people are looking to learn more about you, your clients, your culture. They want to interact and learn from you. Blogging, videos and pictures is what’s hot for websites now. The time and money that you invest in your website will pay off in the end. Think about it…your site is working prospects when you are busy at that networking lunch (see Tip #1) or sound asleep in bed! But websites aren’t cheap, you say… Or are they?  Full Moon Design Group has websites starting at just $500 – sites that you can change content on your own (and we’ll show you how!) and blog and feed into those social media outlets of which you are now a part (re: Tip #2).  Take a look at a few samples below:

www.jbaustin.com/
www.austinecofence.com/
www.hillcountryhomeimprovements.com/

Social Media Attacks the World (Wide Web)

By | website | One Comment

Social media, it seems, is one of the hottest topics these days.  Everyone is talking about Twittering, FaceBooking, Digging, Flickring, and Stumbling Upon.  With all this talk about all of these sites, you many begin to wonder to yourself, “what does the term ‘social media’ mean anyway?”

Social media, according to Wikipedia, is defined as the use of electronic and Internet tools for the purpose of sharing and discussing information and experiences with other human beings in more efficient ways.

In fact, we are using social media right now.

Social Media Keeps Going and Going

Social media is not new.  It has been around for a few years and started with general blogs and a few kids on MySpace.  Social media was just that, social.  Fast forward three years and now MySpace has become the launch pad for movies and musicians, blogging is almost mandatory, and people know a lot more about your personal life than you could have ever imagined.

The truth is … Social Media isn’t just a fad or the craze of the future … Social Media is here to stay.  The world has become one big open book and if you aren’t up to writing your own chapter, than you might as well close up shop.

Social Media Means Business

The Internet is how everyone gathers their information.  They go to movies based on a critique on a FaceBook page, they buy cars based on someone’s epinion of the newest hybrid, and they choose real estate agents based on a friend’s blog about their house-buying experience.  Your company’s Website and how open you make it (i.e. client testimonials, comments to your blogs, information about your employees) is more important now than ever.

How often you appear on the Internet determines your validity these days.  So …  the next time you are playing around on the Internet; make sure you check Full Moon Desing Group out on FaceBook, read our blog (kind of like you are doing now), and maybe even Twitter about how cool we are.  You Digg?

*Photo by Kevin Zollman