Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Our Industry Partners: Strategic Essentials

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Our partner, Strategic Essentials, provides comprehensive organizational development training and consulting through the unique Leadership Management International, Inc. (LMI) Strategic Development Process ™. This is training that has really led to our success and continues to add value to our bottom line.

No One Succeeds Alone

In our many years in the marketing business in and around the Reno area, we have learned that success comes easiest when you surround yourself with like minded business partners /alliances which strengthen all parties involved.

Our Partner – Strategic Essentials

We have several local businesses that we partner with to help us continue to grow; they keep our wits sharp and our skills up to date.  Learning is an ongoing and ever productive part of life and business.  As marketing professionals and designers, our expertise may not have always been in managing and running the business side of things. We learned some hard lessons, before we realized that if someone else excels at these things, why not learn from them? That’s where Valerie Cardenas, owner of Strategic Essentials, came in and improved the way we were running our business, ultimately helping us to define our success.

If you are finding that some of your entrepreneurial hats fit better than others, call Strategic Essentials to discuss “What Matters Most” for your organizations development.  They will custom tailor your plan with measurable goals and a timeline for improvement. Ensure that employees (and yourself) are successful in navigating all areas of your organization with this award winning development program.

Since partnering with Strategic Essentials, our business has benefited from  improved sales procedures, productivity across the team, clarity of business goals, team morale, cash flow, and an increase in billable hours.  We have also been able to streamline our invoicing and estimating processes. Learn how you can make your team more efficient and productive while creating a results-based, goal-oriented culture focused on “What Matters Most” for your organization.

Social Media Pays it Forward

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Social media has opened new doors for people and businesses alike.

Whether you are a large corporation, like Skittles, or a startup looking to expand your audience; whether you are a motivated individual looking for a way to stand out from the crowd during our currently challenging economic times, or one of the many computer savvy people looking to be your own boss, social media can help.

In Brad McCarty’s blog post, 6 stories of life-changing social media connections, 6 stories are shared about how social platforms positively affected someone’s life or career. As marketers we understand the importance social platforms can play in business.

Social platforms have the ability to change everything.

It has already changed the way businesses interact with their customers, the way families stay in touch, the ability to get honest and unfiltered feedback on a host of topics, a transparency for human and business interaction and the idea that all businesses have people behind them. Social media goes beyond the idea that a business has a ‘culture’ – it reinforces the idea that even large corporations are made up of people and that all business decisions and interactions with consumers are done on a human level.

More now than ever, social platforms use the power of communication to create honest interactions between businesses and consumers. As a business owner – why wouldn’t you utilize these new tools to get the most from your life and your work? It reduces the gap between ‘professional’ and ‘personal’ but in a good way. Social media promotes the underlying belief that not only are we all ‘in this together’ but that we are all the same – human – and we should connect on that level. The implications are endless.

So enjoy the stories that Brad McCarty wrote about – and then, we invite you to go make your own success story – isn’t that still the American Dream?

Innovative Marketing

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Recently, I came across a blog post that got my attention.  9 Ways to Keep Innovation Alive in Your Marketing Organization, posted by Matt Heinz from Innovation Excellence, he writes about Innovation and Marketing, two things I find very useful and interesting.

Several of the ‘9 Ways’ are things that most (successful) companies are already doing – things like tracking progress, predicting trends (or at least watching them), and focusing on teamwork as a way to brainstorm diverse ideas. My favorite, though, is number 5 – let everyone contribute, even (or especially) employees outside of the marketing department.

Why is cross-contributing so important?

Because, as Heinz describes, many of these employees have ideas about how to reach your audience. I would specify that the user-facing employees know more about what the customer is looking for or what things push them to buy your product over another brand than your marketing department. This is valuable information that is available to your company! However, the company culture has to be supporting it, asking for it, rewarding it and following through on the ideas they get for this to be truly successful.

As any good marketing professional would tell you – knowing what your target audience wants is imperative for creating a marketing strategy that will tell the story of how your product or service can fit into the lives of your consumers and why they need to purchase what you have to offer.

Innovation Speaks to All of Us

Innovation is something that speaks to all of us – we are all interested in the newest, shiny, tech savvy bauble; the more bells and whistles (or functionality as we have come to know it), the better. Humans are observant and have a relatively natural ability to look at something they are doing and see how it could be done better. Utilize these instincts and ideas to find new things that will resonate with your audience in a new way, or explain the use of your product or service in new terms.

What kind of innovation does your marketing need?

Give us a call at 775-322-3663 and we can help you find out!

For the full blog post from Matt Heinz, please click here.

GreenBiz Upcoming Forum

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

This Video is one, “What if”… what’re yours?

Greenbiz provides online news and information resources on how to align environmental responsibility with business success. It offers more than 8,000 resources, including daily news and feature stories, reports, checklists, case studies, and links to organizations, technical assistance programs, government agencies, and recognition programs.

This October 11th-13th, GreenBiz is holding its 2011 GreenBiz Innovation Forum, in San Francisco.

“Experience How Sustainable Innovation Happens”

Get an Invite to listen to speakers who are experts in their (often emerging) fields, or become a sponsor or speaker yourself!

Do you look at the world with ideas for change?
Do you think there is more than what we know out there?
Do you feel the need to be green minded in the world we live in?
Are you interested in sustainability from a business standpoint?

Then this forum could be for you!!

Whether you go to the if11 Forum or not, feel free to share your What If’s with us here, or n our Facebook Fan Page, or Tweet us!  We’d love to talk green with you!

You Are Your Brand – “Stay Human”

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Everyone knows that your brand reputation is important – especially when you own your own business or are seen as a reflection of that brand, product or service.  What frequently happens, however, is that we forget that anyone could be our next customer, advocate, business partner, sponsor, or raving brand fan (if we do our jobs right!).

Let’s face it, the mass adoption of social media platforms and rabid posting to massive online populations has catapulted word of mouth to a whole new level.  Its power has grown exponentially and our brands need to be on the radar in a big, positive way.  So how do we do that?

Well, Scott Ginsberg (video) sure knows how to make it happen.  His article, Consistency Is Far Greater Than Rare Moments of Greatness, truly hits home.  Scott talks about how “you just never know” who you will bump into at a random event or in a seemingly unrelated place.  He says (and we agree), that it is both easier and more effective to consistently be a nice person than realize, too late, that you have made a horrible impression on a future or current customer. In Scott’s words, “Stay Human”.  Does that mean you can’t show the “real” you in public, that you must hide the more zany, creative sides of your personality, or not speak your truth in an uncomfortable situation? Of course not, but be mindful of your behavior and ask yourself what “brand” you want potential clients to see.

Because, if you are like us, all people are essentially potential clients in some way shape or form.  So why risk offending someone or ruining that possibility and relationship before it can even begin?  Not to mention the karmic factors of just treating people with respect and dignity no matter the situation or the event. You are your brand….don’t forget it!

Your Blog is in Trouble!!

Friday, July 8th, 2011

What Makes a Great Blog?

Several things have to come together to truly wow an audience. According to some gurus in Cindy King’s blog post today “21 Dangerous Blogging Mistakes (and how to fix them)”, there are quite a few things that can make or break your blog.

Blogging Mistakes

We all make them at one time or another. Maybe we were in a hurry and our quality slipped, maybe we were too busy and our frequency dropped. As long as these things we call life happen only once in a while, that is fine. When it becomes par for the course – your blog is in trouble.

Balancing Quality and Quantity

According to Jay Baer (@jaybaer), “balancing the need to be consistently publishing and the need for consistent quality is the key to successful long-term blogging.” We would add that it is important that both your quality and your frequency of posting matches the target audience you have. If you have a company that is in the fast track industry of trading or finances – especially in these times – you might need to post more frequently than someone in a lagging industry field.

Keywords, Keywords, Keywords

We hear it all the time, but the truth is keywords get you found. You cannot have a successful blog when no one is reading it. This is the point that Rich Brooks (@therichbrooks) makes in his contribution to Cindy King’s article. A good blogger understands the “need to write keyword-rich posts with persuasive, compelling titles that will be read, linked to and shared on social media sites”, which increases the idea of being found. It isn’t just about keywords, but also about grabbing attention with a title, AND sharing and linking to social media sites. In this case, you need the whole package – sole focus on one area will leave a gap that cannot be bridged.


Don’t underestimate the need to schedule yourself the time and focus to really generate an interesting, engaging and informative blog post. As Dag Holmboe (@dagh) states himself, “A good, in-depth blog post takes time to research, write and edit.” What more can we say? This is not a five minute post – you must craft the message and the way it will be delivered.

Cater to Your Audience

It is extremely important, as we discussed earlier, to know your target audience. It is only through knowing them, that you can effectively tailor your content, style, medium, and media to their needs. As Jim Lodico (@jlcommunication) explains, “if it isn’t of value to your audience, your audience won’t read it”. Well put!

Build Community

True engagement is not built overnight – like a community it has to be formed and tended through multiple interactions that consistently reinforce the needs of the community. We completely agree with Carla Dewing (@CarlaDewing), “The fastest way to build a community online is to share information”!! Community is created by giving help (sharing) when those in your community (your target audience) are in need and you have the information (content) that can help them.

For more information and tips on blogging, check out Social Media Examiner online!  They have fantastic articles that we use ourselves all the time.

Steve Jobs Inspires (2005 @ Stanford Commencement)

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

A foray into this man’s surprising past and perspectives on life… inspiring IMHO no matter if you are a Mac or a PC fan… Totally worth the 15 minutes it will take to watch. Filmed at the Stanford June 2005 Commencement Ceremony.

Content is Copyright 2005 Stanford University

Quoted from the Description from YouTube:

Drawing from some of the most pivotal points in his life, Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams and see the opportunities in life’s setbacks — including death itself — at the university’s 114th Commencement on June 12, 2005.

Transcript of Steve Jobs’ address:…

Stanford University channel on YouTube:

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