Thursday, December 17, 2009

Are You Ready for 2010?

With all my projects – clients – and re-doing my own website, I wake up every morning with a spring in my step. It is really exciting to see my business growing and at the same time to be able to launch other projects that excite me.

This is the time of the year when most of us are so busy it is hard to find time to breathe let alone – evaluate our business. However, this is the best time to go over what worked and what didn’t work so that 2010 can be our best year yet.

I decided to write this article to help you focus on things that will propel you into the next year – things that may seem small but can make a huge difference in your business – and your success.

Sit down and really look at where your business is, ask yourself where you can make some improvements…

Revisit some of your business goals – ask yourself, are you on track to have the positive growth next year, or are their changes that need to be made to see the prosperity that you so richly deserve?

12 Essential Questions to Ask – For a Successful 2010

  1. Do you have a workable business strategy that makes sense?
  2. Is your website professional and up to date?
  3. Do you have a website that is more than a pretty picture?
  4. Does your website not only attract visitors but gather information – through the use of an opt-in box (auto responder)?
  5. Is your website SEO compliant – have you made sure you have keywords in your text – unique titles for every page – an XML site map?
  6. Are you submitting your website to search engines?
  7. When a visitor hits your front page do they know exactly what your product is and/or what your service can do for them?
  8. Do you have a call to action on every page?
  9. Is your contact information easy to find?
  10. Does your website navigation make sense?
  11. Have you started your blog?
  12. Are you using Social Media to promote your business?
Online businesses are a challenge – but they are really fun and exciting, especially when you see how they can take on a life of their own.

In a nut shell: Make sure your website is up to par and updated. Then jump in and start that blog it will make the difference between looking like just another business or someone who is an expert in their field. Last but certainly not least – get familiar with social media and connect – networking is the life blood of any business…

If I can help contact me, and have a fun and festive holiday season!

Pamela Jacob – Artista Design

Providing Practical Solutions & Valuable Results TM

Thursday, December 10, 2009

They say it is FREE – Really?

I don't know how many of you feel the way I do but when I hear the word FREE I expect it to be free…

I cannot tell you how many times I will get an email – the subject line catches my interest, so I read further, I see that they have a FREE offer.

It looks great, and is something I am interested in. I click on the link and fill out the form only to find that it isn’t free at all, “you may use these tools for a limited time only or must pay shipping and handling” and by the way, shipping and handling is usually much more than it would cost to send.

There is nothing wrong with limited time offers or getting something for just the shipping and handling but put it up in front, be honest!! I will more than likely still be interested in what you have to offer – I don't need to be tricked into signing on the dotted line!!

If you are a company that has been using this tactic, think again. As a possible client I have to tell you it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and I am sure I am not alone. When this happens, I feel that I have been led down the wrong path, and I cannot trust the business that has sent me the offer.

Upon reading a piece of email like this, I will immediately put the company name and email on my spam list, to be banished forever (a little dramatic but true.)

I have an extremely busy schedule (as do all of you), and I do not have time to read email and take action, unless I am truly interested.

Remember: Perception is everything and you do not want to leave the wrong perception. If you are currently planning a marketing campaign, please heed my warning; be upfront and honest – no gimmicks please!

When you have gone through the time and trouble to put together a marketing campaign Рbe up front with what you are actually offering. Ethics and honesty are one of the most important things that a business must hold true to, or they will not build a lasting client̬le base.

Without it your business will not flourish and grow, it will eventually wither and die…

Pamela Jacob - Artista Design Providing Creative Solutions and Valuable Results TM

Thursday, October 29, 2009

7 Crucial Steps to Creating a Prosperous Business

1. Hire experts to do what you are not good at! If you are an expert in your field and really good at what you do – why waste your time trying to figure out how to do things you

a. Don’t know... b. Are not good at... c. Don’t have time for...

For example, I love designing websites and marketing materials, as an artist, I just love it. I happened to be born with an artistic gene, I am an expert at designing and developing websites that are marketing machines. I have been in this industry for over a decade. I have experience so I am a great consultant. I can draw up marketing plans like nobodies business, but…

Programming is not my talent and it is not my niche…

I tried when I first started as a web developer and found I just am not the programming type – it took me days to accomplish what it takes a programmer an hour to do. Being in this business so long I have some very good connections. When I have to have some heavy programming done I don't do it myself I hire the best… Saves me time, stress and ultimately saves me money.

2. Prepare – have a plan.

I have seen so many people just decide one day to have an online business and they don’t do the preparation needed to really have a solid foundation. You need to write out your goals and then put it into a business plan. Write out what your goals are and a detailed map of how you are going to get to your goal.

When you get to the point you need a website – what type do you need?

a. Do you want to use you website to market your business?... b. Do you have a product or services you want to sell?... c. Do you want to put up a portfolio?... d. Would a blog be what you need or do you need both?...

You get my point.

3. Have the right image!

If you truly want to develop a successful business, a solid foundation is one of the most important things you can do. It will be the springboard where all your success will come from.

What do I mean by “The Right Image”?

Well that will depend a bit on what it is you are doing. First your business does need a website – I may sound like a broken record but – it is true!

People use the internet as a research tool to learn about businesses in their area – or to see who to go to for products and services – so you need to look professional. Secondly the website, your business cards and all marketing materials must be branded and attract your target market.

If you are in a business that deals with children and parents it will look quite a bit different than a business that is for the Adult – Professional world.

Branding means to have all marketing materials, website, ads etc have the same images, colors, flavor, and feeling that you want to portray to your customers/clients.

Last but certainly not least – when meeting people in person make sure you make a good impression – dress so you look like a successful business owner – be polite and always remember you never know who it is you are talking to – it may be the person that will open the door to a flood of clients.

4. Be prepared to work.

Business is hard work – it is fun and challenging as well - but it is not going to be a piece of cake. Be prepared to put the time in especially in the beginning when you are trying to get established. Realize that when you own your own business you and you alone will be responsible for the success or failure of your business.

Failure comes when someone is not ready to put in the work, or does not do their due diligence. Failure comes in when you give up - because things are not going as you thought they would. Failure comes when things are not working, but you still keep doing what you are doing.

Remember – you may need to change course from time to time that is just the way businesses grow. The difference between success and failure is that the successful person, will stumble and fall at times but they get up dust off the disappointment and figures out a way to solve the problem.

The unsuccessful person stumbles or falls and doesn't get up - decides life is against them "so why try?". I don’t care what you have heard – if you think you will be making big bucks with very little time invested think again.

5. Networking the back bone of any business – network!

I am sure you have heard the saying “it isn’t what you know but who you know” – I believe that is only half true – it is “what you know and who you know”. That is the beauty of going to networking events or accessing web 2.0 sites and getting to know people on-line. It really is amazing what you can accomplish when you are networking with the right people.

6. Money is made and lost through relationships…

If you only have your eyes on you and what others can do for you, than you my friend will find that you will be on the losing end of #5

7. Sell – Sell – Sell

A lot of people really have a negative image of a sales person – it congers up someone that is insincere at best and a crook at worst.

Nothing can be farther from the truth.

A good sales person believes in what she/he has to sell and considers it something that will make that persons life a little better. When you are authentic – then you believe in your product and service. When you believe in what you are doing than it is just natural that you will be excited and enthusiastic about getting the word out to every one that can benefit.

Have you ever heard “Your mouth is your business it should always be opened”? Funny saying but it is really true – please don’t go overboard and bore people to tears by just talking about you and you business – but where appropriate talk!

Find solutions for people that need your expertise. It’s all about balance – and (where appropriate) don’t forget to ask for the sell.

Now get out there and show what you are made of…

To Exciting Opportunities – and Endless Possibilities

Pamela Jacob – Artista Design

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

We Alone Hold the Key…

Every now and then, I come across a post that is not necessarily about the mechanics of how to grow your business but is the essence of success in all areas of one's life.

This morning I did just that it is an article titled “Finding Hope – and Keeping it!”.

The author is the son of Zig Ziglar –

I don’t know how many of you have listened to this man (Zig Ziglar) or really know who he is, but I suspect most of you have heard of him.

Zig Ziglar - his life story is one of the most amazing success stories ever - a door to door sales man that transitioned into one of the greatest motivational speakers of all times.

But his is a story of much more than that – because he lived by principles that would work for anyone who took note of them.

As a young entrepreneur, just starting out I had the growing pains of any new business and the discouragements as well. He kept me going and really gave me the tools to keep my head up and shoulder to the wheel.

The article is a short one, but one I want you all to read – because in this day and age of uncertainty – when the news we hear isn’t always so great – we need to realize that we, ourselves hold the secret to our success.

“Hope is born when you realize you have the power to make your life better, and the choice is yours.”

That excerpt above is from the article.

I hope you will read it, and that you will take away the essence of this great man – perhaps it will give you that added jolt to make this day your best one yet!!

To Exciting Opportunities – and Endless Possibilities

Pamela Jacob - Artist Design

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Are parasites sucking the blood out of your business??

I recently read an article on small businesses and what stops them from being successful – half way through it hit me…

These problems could be described as parasites – things you don’t even realize are killing your business. Little by little they waste your time and keep you from doing the things that actually make you the success you deserve to be.


Parasite # 1- Demanding Client(s)…

If you are a business that values your customer – you give great customer service – you bend over backwards to do everything possible to make them happy and give them an experience that will bring them back for more.

In fact 99% of my business, in the past 5 years, have been repeat customers and referrals.

I am proud of that.

Even so, that doesn’t mean along the way I have not run into what I call the demanding client.

When I was a young company, I was just happy to have anyone that needed my services. I didn’t care how difficult or time consuming they were. I would do the design project as we had discussed, but then suddenly, they were not happy with something we had been developing for weeks – thing that were great last week needed to be changed.

Now you may be thinking that is great – more hours more money - NOT!

I work on a per project basis, my clients are mainly small businesses or start up companies that could not afford me if I were to charge per hours, so we have an agreed upon project price.

Looking at this scenario you can see that I was working for less than minimum wage – the more time I would give the more they would demand.

I realized after having a few of these types of clients I had not communicated with them effectively. I didn’t have a written – contract that explained in detail what I would do for a given amount.

Lesson learned I started to set boundaries and write contracts that were much more detailed.

The communication got better and the clients knew what to expect and things ran along much smoother. Happy customers – even happier business owner

Parasite # 2 – Unreasonable Client(s)…

My motto,

Under promise – Over Deliver

How many of us have seen or heard the ads – make 20 billion dollars in 3 hours – solve all your problems in life with just 3 easy steps….

You get my point, if it sounds too good to be true – it is.

I always try and give my clients 110% - I will not nickel and dime them to death. I will help them with marketing advice if they need it etc.

However, ever once in a while I have a client that will not adhere to our contract.

They are just plain difficult – expect the impossible, and I found myself in the difficult position of having to say things like – we didn’t agree on that, or look at the proposal we outlined, or (fill in the blanks)…

What do you do when this happens to you?

Be up front, if you feel it is not worth your time – refund the money and move on – or refund a portion of their money (if it is for a service rendered) and quit doing business with them.

It is not worth the time when you have someone who does not respect you or your business – and if you cannot find a solution cut your losses. Do not continue to hit your head against the wall – you are losing business with people who want what you have to offer because you are trying to do the impossible.

Important point: First of all, I hope you have structured your business so you take a deposit for services rendered. I personally have my client's pay 50% up front and 50% upon completion.

If it is a huge project, I will take 50% up front, 25% once we have an agreed upon design – and 25% upon completion.

This protects my clients from worry because they know if I don’t live up to my promises, I will not get a full payment – it protects me because I know they are serious and have paid me a portion of the agreed upon fee.

Luckily, I don’t have clients like this anymore. I can tell by the initial consultation if it is a client I want to work with.

Don’t be afraid to turn down a client if you find they are not a fit – you will benefit in the long run and so will they.

Parasite #3 – Time Wasters…

You’re a business owner that is trying to be frugal. Times are a bit tight so you think you need to do everything yourself.

Even when you don’t have the slightest idea how to do it…

After all you are smart – why not learn how to do a website – design your own marketing material – and keep the books?


Seriously, stick to what you do well – don’t waste your time trying to learn things that should be done by someone who knows how to do it right and in a fraction of the time. You don’t need to hire the most expensive person, just a professional who knows how.

The time it takes you to learn how to do these things – could be time you are spending finding clients, marketing, networking doing what you do well.

The old adage is true, time is money. So don’t waste your time learning to do something that should be left to professionals.

In fact you may even do more harm than good to your business. An example may be something like putting up a website that is less then professional and portraying a poor image.

Or not hiring a CPA to do your taxes when you know nothing about what exemptions you can take for a business – so you end up actually losing out on tax exemptions simply because you have no clue about financial matters.

In my case I am not a programmer – I can do some minor programming – and I know where to get java scripts I can use etc. But I hate the heavy duty stuff – and it would take me forever to learn something I am not talented at and I do not like.

If I have a client that needs something I cannot do I hire it done by a professional – and I outsource it.

I know it will cost me a lot less to have it done by a programmer because it will take them a fraction of the time – and they know more than I will ever care to know. On top of that, it will cost my client a lot less because I will not spend hours trying to figure it out.


The bottom line is – it is important to recognize time wasters when you run your own business.

A lot of things (you may not even realize) can waste your time and pull you under making your business less than successful – and in time drain you of the enthusiasm and excitement you had when you first started the dream of developing your own financial security.

The thrill of developing a business from scratch and seeing it come to fruition is amazingly satisfying and to be able to learn from others will put you on the fast track to success…

Just remember that nothing good comes easy – but everything good will come when enjoying the fruits of your labor!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Make a fortune in 24 hrs or less - NOT!

I receive a wonderful newsletter from a very talented copy writer – his name is Michel Fortin. This morning he sent out his latest post and in the newsletter was a hilariously funny video.

I just had to snatch the code and show you - its a great way to start a week off!!

A sad but true fact is a lot of people really buy into a lot of hype off the internet.

If you want to be a true success it takes time – and consistency.

Nothing happens overnight but it does happen with the right game plan and a lot of elbow grease!

To Exciting Opportunities – and Endless Possibilities

Pamela Jacob - Artist Design

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

100 Days To Your Ulitmate Goal!

I happen to open an email with a great subject line (that is the secret by the way). And I found an amazing opportunity – I am always making goals and trying to learn new ways to achieve them in record time – well I believe I have found my answer in this program.

I have signed up and I wanted to give you an opportunity as well – so please watch the video below and there is a free .pdf that you can download when you access the link below.

Some of the best opportunities in life are the ones that we create, and I wanted to share an exciting program which will allow you to create a:

• Substantial amount of money - very quickly, and • A monthly ongoing flood of cash for your business.

Here is the cliff notes version of the program.

September 23rd is an important date as it marks the 100 day countdown of 2009.

Gary Ryan Blair (The Goals Guy) has created a revolutionary program called the 100 Day Finish Strong Challenge.

The program is endorsed by a who’s who in the personal growth industry to include Brian Tracy, Ken Blanchard, Les Brown and many others.

This exciting program provides your clients with an opportunity to finish the year with a bang, and I mean a Big Bang.

Opportunity is knocking as this will be the single biggest program launch in the world and it begins in a few days.

You can get all of the details by clicking here;

100 Days To Your Ulitmate Goal!

To Exciting Opportunities – and Endless Possibilities

Pamela Jacob – Artista Design

Monday, September 21, 2009

Negative Impressions WILL Kill Your Business…

Being a designer I know the value of a good looking – and eye catching web site.

However, unlike some designers I also know the value of good content it is extremely important.

It is like first impressions – when you see someone you judge them within less than 3 minutes of meeting them. Whether you want to admit it or not – it is the truth, it is human nature.

Then if you decide to stick around and get to know this person your impression can change radically – you may find your judgment was right spot on, and you are impressed with them inside and out –or- you may find they are not what you though and they are superficial without any depth.

The same is true for your website.

The first page of your website should capture your visitor’s attention – highlight the positive aspects of your service or product. Capture the essence of what it is you are trying to convey.

Your home page should not be long winded with all the details you can find. It will bore or even turn off potential clients who will feel they do not have time to read it or just feel overwhelmed.

We all lead busy lives and don’t have time to read a novel on the first entrance to a website.

Once your visitor reads what you can do for them – the essence or spark of your service or product you want them to think “wow that is just what I need! Or I really want to know more!

At this point, they will go deeper into your website. They are hooked - That is where you can take the time to explain the benefits they will receive – and what your product/service is all about.

So many times I have a client who wants to put everything but the kitchen sink on the first page

– resist this temptation -.

The truth is the simpler and more descriptive the first page the better – always focus on your visitor - what it will do for the customer or how it will solve client problems…

It makes you visitors want to go further and investigate what you have to offer. However, if your content is too long winded – watered down or just grammatically incorrect, I will guarantee they will not stay on your website to see what you have to offer.

Once someone likes what they see (and read) – they will go further and want to know more details…

So think about it – do you need to refurbish you website – simplify the copy on your home page and make it more appealing to visitors who stop by???

For more tips and tricks on how to have a more profitable website – sign up to receive articles by email (see side bar above).

Pamela Jacob – Artista Design

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Have You Mastered Social Marketing? If Not – Read This!!

A couple of days ago I was browsing through my e-mail and I came across an offer that really caught my eye.

As I read through the content, of the email it just seemed that this e-book may be different than all the rest.

I buy a lot of e-books, I have to keep on top of my industry especially when it comes to the latest social marketing trends.

Quite honestly, quite a bit of the material I have acquired is redundant, a lot of fluff - and not worth the time, but this one was something special.

As I read through it I was really struck by the step by step instructions. This manual really shows the reader how to gain higher visibility on the internet and get targeted traffic to there websites by using specific social networking tools and strategies.

In fact as long as you have a basic knowledge of the internet – you can follow along and get such great exposure just by using this one 200 page book.

So guess what I did?

I bought the re-sell rights – I wanted to offer it to my readers and at a discounted price – I want everyone to be able to afford it.

Let me give you a glimpse into what you will learn when you purchase this book. (only $5.50!)

  • MyBlogLog Traffic Strategies
  • Twitter Marketing
  • Niche Marketing Domination
  • The Yahoo Answer Exploit
  • Building a List with FaceBook
  • Stumble Upon Domination
  • Squidoo Marketing 101

And much more!...

You cannot go wrong – and for less than the price of a combo meal!!

I love this book and I know you will too – in up coming articles I will be outlining a lot of these strategies as well.

You my friend can be an expert in mastering some of the hottest social marketing website – so don’t delay download your copy today and get moving – you will be so glad you did!

Pamela Jacob - Artista Design

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Do you really know how to “Market” your business…?

There are so many people that just throw around the word marketing and really do not have a full grasp of what the word really means.

Think about it – ask yourself, how do you define marketing????

I read a book called “Mind Capture” by Tony Rubleski –in his book Tony states “Marketing is the oxygen of every successful business”. He is exactly right – I don’t care how great your product, service, or anything else is, if you do not market your business, then nobody will know about it – and if nobody knows about your business do you really think you will be successful?


OK so let’s define what marketing is, in a nutshell – becoming known in your marketplace by building a memorable image or brand – getting the customer to remember you even when they don’t need your goods or services. When the time comes and they need what you have to offer you are the first one that pops into their mind.

But how do you do that?

  • A memorable image – a genuine and honest belief in your product and/or service(s) and letting the world know what you have to offer.

  • Repetition
  • Becoming an expert in your industry

Study, learn, invest a little money in your business to become anexpert. Keep up with the trends and new developments.

  • Define what makes you unique in your industry.

I can honestly tell you that it can be as simple as real customer service. The word customer service is thrown around so loosely – but I am talking about really caring about your customers, making sure that what they are getting is really something that they need. Being there when something goes wrong and making sure that you are on top of everything in a timely manner.

I am old enough to remember when someone gave you their word it was as good as gold – and you could trust what they told you was the truth.

That is a rare commodity in this day and age.

  • A professional image – success always draws people to what you have to offer.

You must look successful in every aspect of your business from your business cards down to your website, blog, ads and everything you are projecting out on the internet, as well as print.

Make sure the graphics are all branded (look alike) from the colors, logos, verbiage, feel to the way things are presented. Create an emotional association (such as the feeling of success, happiness, or relief) that a customer forms with the product, service, or company.

  • Surround yourself with the best to be the best.

Whoever you incorporate in your inner circle must hold the same values as you do – and all employees and even affiliates must uphold your high standard – one bad seed can be the down fall of your business, especially in the viral world of the internet.

  • Know your customer

Who is it that you can help? How can you solve a problem or make someone’s life more enjoyable?

Do not tell me everyone – because that is not true. You must know who you are trying to attract – what does your perfect customer look like, what type of income do they have, what do they find valuable, where do they live and what do they read…

The more you know about your customer the faster you will get results.

  • Do a little traditional marketing along with all the internet marketing, social media, and above all else network!
  • Don’t be afraid to give away things of values, information, pearls of wisdom and help people – don’t give away the house of course, but I have found the more giving I am the more comes back to me.

If you doubt my words try it, you will be amazed!!

  • Set Goals – and review them every morning. Did you know only 3% of people set goals and even less forget about them after they are set!

Now go out there and catch the world on fire!!

For help with a personalized marketing plan contact me

Pamela Jacob - Artista Design

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Video Creation - 6 Basic Steps You Must Know...

How many of you have dabbled in or thought about creating a video and posting it on You Tube or some of the other video sites?

Even though I have a degree in multimedia it had been a long time, since I had really put together a multimedia piece - I love putting images, words and sound together to get an emotional effect, so this is a labor of love.

Recently I put together some promotional video's for one of my clients, I had so much fun!! I had to bone up on what it takes to make a good video - and quickly remembered I could not just jump right into the middle of the project and expect professional results...

You may be the most creative person in the world but everything has a process and creating a promotional video is no different.

You may be saying to yourself " What is she talking about??"...

I am talking about the process of creation - and there are some basic rules that apply to everything you create - it holds true on e-books, websites, Branding your business, graphic design, and yes video creation...

One of my video examples below...

The 6 basic principles of creating your ideas from scratch..

  1. Brain storm - yes think about and write down all your ideas. Don't second guess yourself just write down the central idea. Is the video to entertain - market your business. Is it to advertise a product - or to position you as a leader in your industry? The sky is the limit
  2. Write the script - It doesn't matter if you are going to be talking about a subject or using images and words to get people to notice you. You need to write what it is you are going to be seeing or saying on the screen. If you have ever taken a video production class you know that you story board your video - what are the scenes - what is going to be said - what type of music etc. This is the same basic concept, but it can be a lot more linier - and a bit simpler than a big video production (thank goodness). If you are going to be talking on camera - take the written outline and practice it in a mirror watch yourself. Practice, Practice, Practice...
  3. Edit Edit Edit - and Edit some more. You want it to be perfect have another pair of eyes read the text especially if you are using the written word in your video.
  4. Gather the pieces - what are you using? In my case I wrote the promotional text, gathered pictures that would be used - created a background - and decided what type of music to use in the background. If you are doing a video of yourself - what type of background are you going to have behind you - are you using any props etc. Please make sure that your background isn't you sitting on a ratty old couch stating how you make all this money - honestly it doesn't look believable (I have actually seen this!).
  5. Format of the video (what type .avi, mpg4 etc) - it is important to understand what type of formats you need before shooting. Make sure you look at where you are posting the video and read the guidelines. Be careful of the compression techniques you use because you could end up with a grainy - low quality version once you actually post it on You Tube or other video channels.
  6. Once the whole thing is put together - go through it and edit it with a video editor. Take a birds eye view of the production and see if you need to clip some of the video - take un-needed verbiage - or add things you left out. If you are posting the video for marketing purposes then you want it to be as close to professional as possible.
  7. Upload - now you are ready to share your video with the world...

If you are just posting video's for fun and personal enjoyment then you would be able to relax a little and not worry so much - but no matter your reason for working with video have fun.

Even though I am writing about how to create a video from scratch - you can replace the word video with any project you are thinking about - developing a website - a marketing campaign etc.

Please feel free to comment and/or email me with any questions you may have...

Pamela Jacob - Artista Design

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Excerpt from 63 Lead Generation Strategies

I have not posted a lot of articles this last month - I have to apologize, I have had a lot of clients and work so that took precedents – a great problem to have!!

If you have not signed up with Twitter I would suggest you do that I have gotten so many wonderful links to articles and websites that are of value – as well as some really magnificent quality connections.

If you have been in business any length of time you know that networking is really important.

Generating leads is the life blood of any business Today I read an article that was sent out from one of my twitter friends and it really hit the nail on the head.

This is part of the article it came from a blog called and I know you will enjoy it. You can read the rest of the article by clicking on the link at the end…


63 Lead Generation Strategies Lead Generation and Customer Acquisition Strategies

Here is a quick overview of some of the highly effective strategies you can use to generate many more qualified leads and clients for your business.

They are all simple and cost effective to implement once you know what to do and how to do it. By bridging the gaps in your knowledge we can show you how to get the most out of any of these approaches, no matter how large or small your business.

1. Direct Mail

An extremely flexible medium that gives you access to any number of otherwise inaccessible prospects for many different purposes; to sell your products; generate sales leads; follow up enquiries; get more business from current customers; keep in touch with former customers; close the sale in advance ... and so much more. It allows you to present every benefit of your product or service over those of your competition in a manner that’s 100% consistent. This is not just in their offices and during the business day, but in their homes, in the evenings and at weekends. Reaching the right audience with the right offer and the right message is the key to success, because the only thing that counts is how many sales or inquiries your mailing generates.

2. Effective Advertising Advertising should be nothing less than ''salesmanship in print,'' i.e. it should do the same job that a top sales person would do face to face. If you approach advertising in a scientific manner, following proven principles and facts, it no longer has to be a gamble. There are many extremely effective ways of using advertising in a highly targeted manner, that can’t help but grow your business. This includes 1) advertising only in media that reaches a sufficiently large number of the kind of people you're trying to reach 2) focusing the entire thrust of your communication on your prospect’s interests, not your own 3) giving your prospects enough information and education and 4) offering them something appealing that'll get them to respond now.

3. Referral Systems

One third-party endorsement is more powerful than a hundred presentations. Getting your customers to recommend and encourage other people they associate with to seek out your products or services is the most coveted prize in selling, besides a sale. There are hundreds of referral systems you can use; to create an unlimited supply of hot prospects; to get prospects returning your calls; to contact hard-to-reach buyers; to create a reputation that opens closed doors; to enhance customer loyalty; and to increase sales and multiply profits. Referral systems make your life easier and more professional, and bring higher profits with increased customer loyalty.

4. Host Beneficiary Relationships

There are bound to be other non-competing businesses who have already spent years attracting and establishing relationships with the very people who are prime prospects for your own products or services. By establishing the right relationships with those ''hosts'', those customers can be yours for the asking, with the full co-operation and permission of the businesses that acquired them in the first place ... and it will bring you more customers and more cash right away.

5. Word-of-Mouth Marketing

This is the most powerful, persuasive marketing weapon available to any business. It drives customers to try products or services more than any other marketing technique ... more than advertising, salespeople, direct response, and public relations combined! And contrary to what you might expect word-of-mouth is not out of your control. There are dozens of techniques for launching your own highly successful word of mouth campaigns, based on an all-important Decision Matrix and a proven seven-step process. More… Until Next Time... Pamela Jacob - Artista Design<

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What is branding and is it important to your marketing strategy?

When you read about branding you often think it just means a distinct logo – or perhaps mark – but branding your business is much more than that. It is an attitude – a way of doing business – where people get what your company is really about.

A company or business should make sure that all pieces of visual marketing materials are – distinct and memorable – through the consistent use of company logos, corporate colors, typography and any other visual elements that have been decided on.

But - creating that visual consistency and identity is only the first step in attracting your perfect customer (branding your business) – as important as that is – there must be more than a visual image to keep a client – coming back for more.

Branding is much more than just ensuring that customers recognize a logo.

Branding means creating an emotional association (such as the feeling of success, happiness, or relief) with your business, product or service.

It is the quality, integrity and customer satisfaction that customer associates with your business.

If you have read many of my articles you know I am a strong believer that you must be true to your word – integrity in all things.

I am forever amazed at business spend lots of money to look great and have such a professional appearance only to fall short when it comes to people skills. Living up to your word and taking care of clients is what builds a strong customer base. That is a major part of branding your business -

How many times have you come across this type of business – they look good, they sound good, and they promise you the farm but when it comes to delivering, they fall short? On the other hand, maybe you loved the product and service but when you have a question or problem you couldn’t reach them – or they wouldn’t even call you back?

To be truly successful you must care about the client’s satisfaction – as well as the integrity of your word. This is a continuation of branding your business.

FYI: Did you know that when a customer is satisfied – they may tell a person or two – but when they are unhappy with a product or service they tell at least 10 people?

Need professional branding? - Mention this article and save 20% on websites development, business cards, logos and more!

Pamela Artista Design - 801-910-4825

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Search Engine Submission – Some Basic Rules

One of the most fundamental and effective things your can do to get targeted visitors to your website is listing with the search engines.

You may be thinking duh of course it is!

However, you would be surprised how many online business owners don’t understand the basics of search engine submission – or think they do but then find out it is not as easy as submitting and forgetting.

I am a firm believe in hiring professionals to do the things that you are not good at – it is cost effective when you get the right people for the job. It frees you up to make more money in the long run because you are not struggling to learn something you are not even interested in knowing.

With this being said – it is important to understand who you are hiring, and if they are truly the professionals they claim to be. I cannot tell you how many people I run across who have been ripped off by unscrupulous (so called) businesses.

This article is to help you have the checks and balances you need before submitting – and make you aware of some of the most basic (an important) things you need to know to get the most effective results.

Step number One – website development

Make sure your website is search engine optimized – has keywords and is really up to snuff. It isn’t all that difficult if you know what to do and how to do it.

Make sure your web developer/designer knows that you do want your website to be put together in the most effective way for the search engines. If they don’t know how to do it – you need to find someone else.

If you are building your website, there is so much information out about SEO, do some research so you know what you need to have on your website.

I have a free check list – for you to go through you can pick it up at

Even if you are hiring your website designer – pick up my free SEO check list so you can make sure that your website is exactly how it needs to be.

Please make sure your website is designed to look professional as well as have all the right keywords and copy in place.

Step Number Two – Who?

You need to decide if you are going to be the one to submit your website to the search engine or hire someone to do it.

If you are going to personally do it – make sure you have gathered all the pertinent information together – submission places will ask for descriptions, keywords and more. Make sure to include the name and contact information for your business. Even if you are going to hire it out it is good to gather all this information to give to the person you are hiring.

Search engine submission is very time consuming – you have to fill out forms and information that are asked for and every search engine is different. You need to make sure you get it right the first time.

One thing that may be very advantageous for you is to find a student, who is good on the internet – who can submit your site to various search engines. Make sure they keep a log – you are going to be able to save money and help them in the process.

If you prefer to hire a professional service make sure to get referrals and do your research – you will find a lot of charlatans’ and unscrupulous people promising the world and delivering nothing.

Beware of companies that promise submissions to hundreds of search engines – which are more often than not a lot of false promises.

When you submit to the DMOZ and other big search engines you will be picked up by a lot of the little more niche sites – where do you think they get their lists from!

There are a few good, solid dependable companies that can help and networking with people and businesses that are willing to give 110% is always a good thing. I have made many friends for life by networking with people and businesses who know how to give good customer service and are willing to give as well as receive.

Step Number Three – Somethings to Remember

You will want to submit your website to search engines more than once, and if you are a busy business – your website will always be evolving and growing. Search engines love new fresh content that is why having a blog associated with your website is so important.

It is going to take time to see your website emerge to the top of search engines – it can take months. There are other alternatives as you strive to reach that goal – like pay per click – back links – JV partners – article marketing – press releases and social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Plaxo, Linked-in, Hubpage, Squidoo, friendfeed etc.) that will help you market your business, they all work like a puzzle and each one enhances the other.

Few things are more satisfying than reaching a goal – and building a successful online business can really be a lot of fun and very financially rewarding.

So pull up your boot straps and get to work – enjoy the fruits of your labor – you deserve it!

Pamela Jacob - Artista Design

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Article marketing – “Simple things that Make a Difference”

It is amazing that for as long as I have been in this business I still run across things that I should have known – thing that just make a lot of sense.

This morning I was going through my Google Alerts and found an article on how to make the most of “Article Marketing”.

In the article there were only a few tips but they were so profound I have decided to pass them on to you my readers…

Tip number 1:

When writing an article for a blog or other venue don’t just write on the topic but “pick an aspect of the topic, state an opinion and back it up with details on why you believe the way you do.”

When providing an opinion, you will then spark a discussion – and people, especially on the social sites – love that. I would suggest you make sure it is an educated opinion – but then again if you just want to get some attention you could play the devils advocate – it just depends on what your goals are.

Tip number 2:

Encourage your readers to respond to your article.

We have all seen the comments section on the bottom of a blog post. This helps your reader become engaged in the conversation - most of the time it is important to let your readers make comments – however sometimes comments can take away from your article – (I prefer to moderate my comments simply so that a “knuckle head” doesn’t get on and us profanity or some such stuff) – another way to encourage participation is through a survey.

A survey not only encourages your readers to become engaged in the topic but it is also a great way for you to know who your visitors really are and what is important to them – WOW talk about a win - win.

In my list of some of the most unique and fun business sites I do mention some websites that provide customers with a service that can build surveys for little or nothing.

The one I chose to use for this article – is this website allows you to have a free subscription or a paid one.

I simply made my survey – created the link – now I am counting on you to look at it and fill it out – answer my questions so I know what you think of this article – and what else you would like to know.

Click Here to take survey

To your success in 2009

Pamela Jacob - Artista Design

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Skinny on Press Releases

Press Releases are a great way to get recognition – especially when what you have to say is news worthy. Not only do they get people’s attention they also provide back links to you website – and that is (as you know) gold.

One of my clients recently received (for the second year in a row!) an award for Best of Salt Lake City 2009. We are both thrilled - we have worked hard to get high visibility and build a client base (second to none) in her industry.

Last year when we won this award - we sent out Press Releases to the free PR sites – and even though it was a bit time consuming the results were fantastic. This year I am finding that it is a little harder to get in and submit them. In fact a lot of the free press release sites are no longer free.

This really isn’t a big deal (I do believe in paying for good service) except one of the best websites ( has gone from a free service to a paid service and the starting point is $ 80.00 and up – Because of their sterling reputation – it may be worth it to pay – but make sure your Press Release is one that is top notch – and if you are on a shoe string budget you may want to start with the Free PR Sites.

The purpose of this article is to give links to some of the Press Release web sites – and also valuable information on the experiences I have had trying to submit to each of the sites.

If you are not familiar with how to write a Press Release don’t waste your time, read my – report on how to write an effective press release - one that works!! Click Here

Then come back to this article and get the list!

10 Press Release Websites – the Good, Bad and Ugly…

One of the best for getting a lot of exposure – you use to be able to submit free press releases – as well as buy extended services. This service is no longer free – the fee’s range from $ 80.00 - $ 360.00 you will get good visibility but it can be pricey for a business that is new or marketing on a shoe string budget.

Truly a free site – I loved submitting on this site just register and the rest is really easy – a must when submitting your Press Release.

Once you register this website is easy to submit to – they do have some paid plans that are far less expensive than PRWEB if you are on a limited budget but not totally strapped you may wish to get one of the enhanced plans they range from $ 10.00 to $ 50.00 check out the website to see all the options.

Very easy to submit to – no registration, just submit – once submitted it just disappeared – so I am not sure how effective this is… I tried searching several days later – could not find the link?


This web site is a bit cumbersome – You are require to register – I When I was registering they had you fill out a lot of sub-topics - good in refining the search results – however I didn’t read the fine print and I ended up with a $ 60.00 bill at the end.

To be fair I was able to back up and re-do the Press-Release and it was simple. I paid 0 but once again you can pay to have pictures and different keywords and regions selected. I have heard this is a good site to get listed with Google News so perhaps really picking some good categories would be worth the small price.

This is no longer a free site – however it only costs $ 29.00 and claims to do the same as PRWEB for quadruple the price.

Expressly published within 24 hours on all 12 State-based PR sites across U.S., on our EPR Blog Network of more than 30 Blogs, on our PR forum all part of EPR Nationwide Network as well as on 3rd party social media and bookmarking sites

This is an interesting site – you just access the press release link and you fill it out – no up sales at all. Very easy, no registration - -

This was a very straight forward free site. It gave me a choice to submit to different countries – I choose England because I had already submitted press releases all over the place and I want to attract people from overseas to what my client has to offer.

This was another “free” service but it looks like it costs $25.00 to submit a press release because I have decided to pay to Prweb for my press release (I know they work) I skipped this – but you may want to pay a few lower fee press release sites – let me know how it goes if you use this particular website.

As you can see this is a place to submit international press releases this may benefit you or not. When I registered it offered a place to put my company profile and it will be placed below the actual piece. I like that – I did have to register and it seemed to be a lot more info then a lot of places I registered. Once it was submitted it said waiting approval, I like that it shows me that someone is looking at the quality of the actual content.


There are many more press release websites some free some for a fee FYI: I did use for my client’s press release – it was a paid inclusion - I get progress reports and they have submitted it to a lot of social media sites.

We went live with the press release on 2009-04-22. So far we have release has received 62340 impressions and 944 reads. This is in only 7 days not bad – it is well worth the price we paid – you will have to decide what is best for your business…

.Pamela Jacob - Artista Design

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mind Mapping - It Works!

How many on your have heard of mind mapping? I love the concept and for my (abstract) brain, there is nothing like a mind map to pull all my idea’s together in one place.

If you are not familiar –Wikipedia give a very succinct definition:

A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged radially around a central key word or idea. Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, decision making, and writing.

This definition seems a little dry, it is really a lot of fun and even a little exciting to be able to map out your idea’s – business or other wise on a mind map. It is the first step to organizing your thoughts and putting them into motion.

I learned to do it as a teenager – I just took a big piece of poster paper and put my idea in the center from there I would draw lines to the steps to get to that goal.

It is simple and direct – for the high tech version there are a lot of programs and websites that can cost you a lot or a little, I found one that I love and it costs less than $50.00 a year, in fact – you can share you map with clients, partners, make as many as you want. I love doing it to help my clients plan out large projects.

In creating your business a mind map is invaluable – your can take an idea and break it down. You will find that it will help you in all areas of your life where you have goals but in business it rocks.

Here is a mind map I have created using an online website called– click around on the map itself take a look you will see how cool this website is.

For complete .pdf - click here

I was doing a little history and found out that mind mapping is really not that old at all (maybe to you twenty something’s it is!)

Mind maps came along in the late 60s – this unique way to tracking and planning was the brain child of Tony Buzan. He found that because of the visual quality of the maps it made it much easier for his student to remember and review things they were learning. The non-linear nature of mind maps makes it easy to link and cross-reference different elements of the map.

Tony Buzan found a business partner in the mid-70’s named Peter Russell together they taught mind-mapping skills in a variety of international corporations and educational institutions.

8 steps to mind mapping…

1. Use just keywords and/or images.

2. Put the central idea in the center of your page and then start placing the keywords around it.

3. Use color to depict themes and ideas

4. Anything that stands out on the page will stand out in your mind.

5. Put ideas down as they occur. Don't judge or hold back.

6. If you get stuck go to another area and start there

7. Think three-dimensionally

8. Be creative have fun – think outside the box

Video of the actual founder Tony Buzan and how to mind map

If you have never done a mind map, there is no time like the present. You may find that you mind will become uncluttered and you will be able to plan out your strategies much easier – and with less stress!

Try it and let me know how it goes!

Pamela Jacob – Artista design