Handyman Mike

Happy Wednesday everybody!

Several exciting things happened this week…ironically, I received 3 different requests for marketing consultations at Fireside (my evening employment).  Two of them will remain a mystery…for now. 🙂  But stay tuned to see who they are…you won’t be disappointed.

Anywho…it always amazes me how basic friendly conversations with customers lead to more marketing work for me (which I love).  With that said, let me tell you a little story…

Mike is a regular at Fireside, but before this week, I had not had the opportunity to meet him.  Before officially meeting him, I knew him as “the guy at the bar that plays basketball with the garbage and a crumpled piece of paper and occasionally hits a waitress instead of the intended target”. 🙂  He enjoys having conversations with any of the waitresses or hostesses that aren’t busy for a moment, and they are happy to reciprocate.

The other evening, I had the pleasure of officially meeting Mike which was a new life experience for me and a pretty cool one, too, because Mike is deaf.  So the other night I delivered his food to him at the bar, and he signed “Thank you” to me…I was slightly disappointed that I didn’t know how to sign “You’re welcome” back to him, so I just flashed him a big smile and nodded my head.  Later, I decided I would just ask him, so I grabbed a napkin and a pen and wrote down my question…he was more than happy to show me (and I think a little excited that someone asked him how to speak his language).  If you’re curious, here’s your American Sign Language lesson of the day:   Mike proceeded to ask me if I knew any other deaf people to which I responded that I did not, but I knew basic signs like “more”, “please”, “all done” and “thank you” because the one-year-old that I live with used/uses them before he could speak.

Our napkin-and-pen conversation continued for another few minutes while he told me he had to wake up early the next day to go to work and teased me that I probably wouldn’t be getting out of bed until noon.  I shook my head and responded that I have a day job, too, so no sleeping in for me.  🙂  From there, I told him that I do various marketing for small businesses, and, turns out he needed just that!  Mike is a handyman in the area and needed an updated business card.

Turns out that there are some pretty sweet templates online for construction-related business cards, so I decided that would be a perfect option for this project.  These are the two designs that I mocked up:

Handyman Mike Business Card Design #2Handyman Mike Business Card Design #1

Based on the information Mike gave me, I spent time making sure that all the wording accurately portrayed what he does. Because I wasn’t sure what style he would like best, I chose 2 very different designs to give him an option. 

I’m excited to see what your thoughts are and what Mike’s final decision will be!

Thanks for tuning in to today’s post!  I greatly appreciate you taking the time to check out what wonderful life and marketing experiences I’ve had this week!  Until next time…

Helpful advice and a chuckle

Screen shot 2012-12-01 at 11.28.22 AMThis is a snapshot of my email account a few days ago…this email gave me a chuckle.  The title of the email is “i have 6 freaking fantastic marketing tips for you”, so obviously I’m going to open it (they sure know how to market to me)…Inside, I was pleasantly surprised to find a very helpful video.  Check it out for yourself to see how the tips shown can help you!  

Lighting a fire under your marketing

Hi friends,

It’s Thursday already!  This week is flying by!  I don’t know what the weather is like where you are (as a home-grown Minnesotan, I’m required to bring up the weather, right? :)) but it has been dreary and rainy here all week.  Because of that (and it being fall and all), I have been in urgent need of some coziness.  My ugly sweater/cardigan collection and coffee can only do so much, so I went on a search…

What is more cozy than a bonfire?!  Ok, probably quite a few things (ha) but I found a certain bonfire that will light a fire under your marketing…Small Business Bonfire.  I use this website as a way to communicate with other marketing professionals that are in similar business situations as myself.  A major downfall of working for myself (and by myself) is that there is nobody to bounce ideas around with…so this website is the perfect solution for me!

Now, if you are part of running a small business venture, you should take a peak at this site, as well.  I found an article just this morning that inspired some ideas for the marketing I am working on for a few clients.  Check it out for yourself: 7 Small Business Trick-or-Treat Marketing Tips

Hopefully this post brightened up your day…no matter what the weather is like where you are. 🙂

Until next time…

Fatherly Advice

Today’s post is inspired by a great man in my life…my dad.

As I mentioned before, both of my parents are entrepreneurs, so I think it’s actually in my DNA. 🙂  My mom owns her own hair salon in my tiny little hometown (and runs the Plathe Pumpkin Patch like a pro…see previous post). My dad farms, and he called me up to chat yesterday while he was out in the field…

A little background:  My dad and I are thinkers…we think and think and think until we are 85 steps ahead of the rest of the world.  I would also describe my dad as a dreamer in that he comes up with ideas for new inventions and businesses literally everyday.  Not only does he come up with the ideas, but he also thinks through all the little details about how they could work…then he gets incredibly excited.  Therefore, when he’s got about a half a pot of coffee in him in the morning, he calls me and tells me all about his latest idea.  Anyway, I love those conversations with my pops, because he always gets me excited about the possibilities of the future AND there is ALWAYS a bit of advice attached…

“Not taking a risk is a risk, too.”  ~Dad

As a farmer, this man knows what risk is arguably better than anyone else, so after I hung up the phone, I spent some time reflecting on those words…

In life, if we don’t take a risk and continue to remain in our comfort zone, we risk the chance of not experiencing something truly wonderful.  For example, my Junior year of college, I was contemplating studying abroad for either four weeks or four months.  I took a leap of faith and decided to go for a whole semester (4 months) which was 150% outside of my comfort zone and highly unlike me to do.  Well, I can safely say that those were the best four months of my life…I met incredible people, saw oodles of amazing things, ate great food, and most importantly, learned things about myself I otherwise would not have. (If you’d like more details on my adventure, I have a blog about it: Lindsay’s London Adventure)

Well, professionally-speaking, taking a risk is just as frightening.  However, not taking a risk and continuing to do things like you always have won’t get you very far in this ever-changing world.  None of us want to become stale in our business endeavors…we want to always be thinking BIG for the future.

Now, after reading this, take a look at your business…is there more you could be doing to stay fresh and up-to-date?  How about your marketing?  When was the last time you updated the content of your website or business card?  You may be thinking, “I’m doing fine…business is good.”  To that, let me ask you this: “Don’t you want your business to be GREAT?!”

Ok, I just had a conversation with myself, so I think it’s about time to wrap this up… 🙂

I was always taught that the key to success in business (great business) is to hire people that are smarter than you…aka: experts in their field.  So, if your marketing is getting stale, take a chance and hire me to help!  Remember, “not taking a risk is a risk, too.”

Email me today!  lgplathe08@ole.augie.edu

There’s nothing like a great “before & after”

I’ve already been busy working on my first clients’ marketing. 🙂  So ladies and gents, I would like to present to you Shirley and Phil Larson Real Estate Team!  Check out some of the work I did for them!

              

This is the coverpage of Shirley and Phil’s book that they showed to their real estate clients.  To add a more professional and consistent look, I created a letterhead and a brief description of who the Larson’s are.  This page is the first thing clients see, so it was important for it to make a great impression right off the bat.

I would also like to show you the information pages within each client sales book…

                                 

  

The 2 pages above were included within Shirley and Phil’s sales booklet.  In order to effectively brand anything or anybody, consistency is crucial!  The page to the left is an example of the letterhead that I designed to match the coverpage.  Each page of the booklet is printed with this look to give it a cohesive image.  It also displays the Larson’s picture and logo along with their contact information.

Now for the brochure! 🙂

 

The first brochure is from about 10 years ago, when Shirley and Phil’s main focus was raising their children and finding a home for their  clients to raise their families as well.  In 2012, Shirley and Phil’s children are grown, and they still would like to find their clients family homes.  However, their updated brochure now highlights the vast experience that they have in the real estate industry.  It also sticks to the blue theme found on their letterhead.  It was important for Shirley and Phil to feature their past clients’ testimonials and recommendations in their new brochure.  These are like gold for any business! 🙂

My other main project for the Larson’s was their Facebook page…When I began just a little over a month ago, they had 11 “Likes” and today they have 47 “Likes”!  They are now reaching more than 4 times as many people as before by interacting with their Facebook friends.  This was done by regularly posting real estate related media such as articles, videos, and current home listings.  I also incorporated a Facebook icon on all their new print material in order to increase traffic on their updated page.

Now all that’s left to ask is, “Are you interested in real estate South of the River in the Twin Cities??”   Shirley they can Phil your real estate needs!  Check them out on Facebook by searching ShirleyAndPhilLarsonRealEstateTeam or their website: www.soldbylarsons.com

If you think anything in this post would help you and your small business, I would love to help!!  Shoot me an email to inquire about any marketing consulting I can do for you.  lgplathe08@ole.augie.edu

Reading this quote made me smile this morning…

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice; and most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

I have always known that I wanted to own my own business…in what?  I couldn’t have told you 2 months ago.  One might say that being an entrepreneur is in my blood as both my parents run their own successful businesses.  So as graduation was quickly approaching this past spring, I spoke with many professors, friends, and relatives to see what my options were…starting my own business wasn’t at the top of the list.

After 6 months of sending resumes, interviewing, waiting…, and even a couple job offers, I re-evaluated.  I know it’s crazy to turn down a job in this economy, and I seriously considered taking one of them with the thought “This would be great experience overall, but I know that I wouldn’t want to get out of bed everyday to do this…I would be miserable.”

Lindsay Plathe Marketing Consulting was born within hours of saying those exact words during a conversation with my dad.  Like I said before, I always knew I wanted to own my own business…I just never knew what it would be.  Well, my heart and intuition lead me to a path that I plan to follow with them as my guides…they know what I truly want to become. 🙂

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