Duct Tape Marketing Series: We’re applying the theories from this book to our business, chapter by chapter, and will share our experiences with you here on this blog. Click here to read from the first Chapter.
So I fell off the blogging wagon. Only a 3.5 month lapse. Whoops. Oh well, it happens to the best of us. Moving forward.
So chapter 4 is a monster chapter. This book gets harder the deeper you get into it (if you are in fact working the book like you’re supposed to). Everytime I read a few pages I end up spending at least 20 minutes sorting out what the new info means to my company. That said it’s time well spent! I’m watching my business grow before my eyes and it’s great stuff! More importantly it definitely feels like I’m setting down a firm foundation and putting tools in place to really make things happen. It’s exciting to tell the truth. And more to the point, I wish I had read this before I started my business just over three years ago. Could’ve saved me from learning a lot of stuff the hard way.
So here we go:
Chapter 4 is all about molding how people perceive you. There is a huge list in John’s book of ways folks interact with your company, but the ones I singled out to work on are my e-mail signature (which currently implements some of the things he talks about but looks horribly cluttered), setting up a monthly newsletter which eventually I hope to move to being biweekly, our company motto, and the doosey – creationdepot.com.
First up -my Email Signature
My email signature is an easy one to mold because I design for a living. I can figure out how to make it look less cluttery and concise.
There’s nothing exactly wrong with the way it looks now, except that it’s really long and not a good reflection of a design company. Not to mention it’d be great to get folks to sign up for our newsletter through a link on here, as well as access a VCard for future reference. (It’s amazing to me that these are things I/we do for our customers regularly, but never turn the lens on ourselves. What a difference this is going to make!)
The Dreaded Newsletter
Newsletters are hands down a fantastic way for companies to regularly reach out to their customer database without spending tons of money. I do make sure to send out newsletters about general announcements – namely vacations, holiday closings, or an upcoming wedding – ah hem, but I’ve never been consistent about it. Before reading this chapter I had started a manilla folder in my file cabinet called “Weekly Working Folder”, and little things here and there that I want to tweet, Facebook, or include in a newsletter have been piling up in there. So now I have no excuse. I can writeup and ship out a newsletter in under an hour using my Constant Contact account. And to make sure that I make time for it, it has been added to a Friday afternoon task list.
Speaking of the logo, John talks about making sure both the logo and the motto reflect your target audience, and while I dare say our “motto” of “web and graphic design” couldn’t get more straight forward it doesn’t showcase the customers. (And yes I toyed with the idea of changing the company name but it’s just not realistic, at least for now.) So I came up with “The Small Business Design Company,” which actually sums up our customer base pretty accurately. We are a design company that specializes in small firms adn sole proprietorships, and that new motto alerts everyone who comes to the site that we won’t blow them off if they aren’t a Fortune 500 company.
Finally, this website
I sell WordPress websites like they’re going out of style, however this blog is the only thing on CreationDepot that is based in WordPress. I have felt for awhile now that I need to walk the walk and get behind the product more, and stop sending mixed messages. I think it’s such a great product, but I hardly use it for my own company. That’s a hard sell, and a not so easy way to change that is to make myself my own customer. I say “not so easy” not because it’s all that hard to do, but because as a designer the opportunity to go nuts on a project like this is far too alluring. I haven’t changed the look of this site in over a year because it took months to put it together and be happy with it. I also haven’t changed the logo in years and years for the same reason. But it’s time to do something about it. My deadline for this new goal is March 31st – wish me luck!
And that pretty much sums up Chapter 4 for CreationDepot. This is one chapter you’ll want to spend a lot of time with. There’s a lot of information within a few pages, but there’s no doubt about how it’ll improve how customers see us.
’til Chapter 5!
P.S. If you’re interested in buying the book, please use this link.
(As of this post, Amazon has it for $11.43 and free shipping!)