A “done-for-you” direct mail letter to get new, local clients!

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I love direct mail. The fact that the world has gone digital just makes it even more relevant than ever. We’re so inundated with emails and Facebook and all the rest that holding a printed, crisp, personal letter has a new significance. It demands attention, shows care (after all, writing an email is so easy – but sending a letter actually takes some legwork), and is unique. I’ve used it to generate amazing returns for clients, and for our creative

No one taking you seriously? Here’s how to position yourself as an expert for massive credibility and respect

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Back in the early days of our creative marketing business, Clients from Hell was a gift from the universe. It kept me sane, reading all of those stories from fellow comrades in arms. Now, however, I have a much different take on that site and others like it. What I once saw as a safe haven of a website where I could cope with the “realities” of our industry I now see as a place packed with professionals who just

What to do if a client threatens you with a “bad review”

Stay calm and sound like the pro you are

A few days ago, the phone rang at 10am. “Reliable! This is Lou,” my wife and business partner, Lou, said. (We run a design / marketing agency, but recently started Reliable: our new PSD to HTML & WordPress company). She took the call per usual. The guy had a lot of questions, and she had answers. But then, the call took a “weird” twist… The guy had some pretty wacky demands. He basically wanted us to ditch the process we

This painful, terrible, amazing exercise forced me to become a better designer

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Flash back to 2010, and I’m giving a workshop to a room full of entrepreneurs who want to learn copywriting. We were on the subject of headlines. I’d given them the basics, and now, to make sure they “got it”, I had them each write a headline of their own. The room was silent except for the tapping and scribbling of pens. Then, some pens hit the table, and I looked around to see smiling faces. These people were proud

How to get tons of new clients (without spending a dime) with the “human billboard” Method

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My brother is a fitness nut. He owns gyms, trains in gyms, and basically lives in them too. If you’ve seen “Pain & Gain” with Mark Wahlberg – he’s kind of like that (minus the psychopathic, hostage-taking shenanigans…). But he’s also a brilliant marketer. And a few years ago he created a system for filling personal training studios and boot camps with new clients that’s 100% free, and works like crazy. He called it the “Human Billboard” method. Why? Because

This client-getting tactic worked so well… I actually had to stop using it.

Last year I attended a digital marketing conference in San Fran. I had three objectives: Learn cool stuff I could use for my own businesses and to help my clients. Pick up potential clients. Eat a lot of that famous west coast sushi :-) After all – I’m a digital marketer – so everyone at this conference is a potential client, right? But here’s the thing… From attending these conferences in the past, I know how people pitch their services

2 huge mistakes most designers make that push clients away (and what to do instead)

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Recently, over at Reliable (our new PSD to HTML & WordPress company), we had an interesting situation… A “tough cookie” wrote in asking for a quote on his project.  But he didn’t hesitate to tell us that he was also looking to outsource overseas, and he was asking for proposals from 10 other companies, too. We were #11. Well, we just did our thing. First, we responded about 10 minutes after the email came in (we’re OCD with email like

If I were starting from scratch, this is how I’d grow my design business

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This is a really relevant topic for me. My creative agency just opened a new branch called Reliable: our PSD to HTML & WordPress company. So we had to start from scratch, hit the drawing board, and figure out how to grow. It’s a different market with different customers, needs, and problems than those of our agency. There’s no overlap. We created a different brand, website, etc. Clean slate, as they say. But the steps we’re taking are the SAME ones