Thursday, July 05, 2012


Well, Happy Independence Day to everyone in the U.S. I hope your holiday was fun and safe. I spent two hours in the sun sanding down and refinishing our kitchen table. I forgot what bad sunburn was like. Ow. Then we had some family and friends over, grilled and went down the block to watch the fireworks display along the Arkansas River. Very pretty.

When I was at church Tuesday night, I was reminded that while July 4th is the day to celebrate our independence, it is also a time to celebrate our dependence upon God. I think many of us, including myself, forget that sometimes. I know I am so grateful for everything I have: my family, my job, my home, etc. but certainly I'd have none of it without God.

Many people look down on being dependent on others. Many have a strong belief that you need to be fiercely independent. I used to live my life that way, but it got real difficult assuming responsibility for everything and everyone. In fact, I failed miserably at it. The harder I tried to be in control of everything, the worse things got. It wasn't until I admitted I couldn't do it alone and was dependent on God for everything that my life actually got simpler. I still face many of the same challenges, but they are easier to face knowing that God's got my back.

As you may remember from a few months ago, my daughter had a bad bike accident, and suffered a concussion and skull fracture. She finally got a clean bill of health from the neurosurgeon and is preparing for an aggressive year of Varsity Pom. Today she started driver's education. Yeesh! I don't even want to know how much my car insurance is going to go up when she turns 16 in December. Phil (my insurance agent), if you are reading this newsletter -- help!

My newly turned 13 year old son was just diagnosed with a possible allergy to -- of all things -- wheat. So we have placed him on a wheat and gluten free diet. This is very expensive. Food tends to cost two to three times as much as normal food. Luckily, we have a new Fresh Market that opened up and they stock a lot of healthy organic foods. He's lost eight pounds, and I am praying for some rapid weight gain. He acts fine and is full of energy, so we're hopeful he'll get used to the dietary change quickly and fatten up.

My wife is preparing for tennis nationals. She is a seriously aggressive tennis player, and has been playing 4-5 times a week for years. She is off to Kansas City in a few weeks and we're all very proud of her. Bring home the gold, honey.

And me, well, I've been working at YP (formerly AT&T Advertising Solutions) for over 4 months now. I love my job and the people I work with everyday. I've re-acclimated myself to the Corporate world for the most part. Sometimes easy things are still more difficult than they should be, but I believe our branch is headed for a banner year. It's exciting to be part of something big again, and with all out medical issues, I am grateful for health benefits again. In fact, I'm getting an endoscopy and colonoscopy tomorrow. I'm prepping today and it ain't fun.

Even though I am selling services similar to what I previously sold in my own consulting company, I am learning a lot and maturing as a consultant and salesman. No wasted time here. I find myself being more effective than I thought, and my productivity is high. Life is good.


So much is going in the small and medium sized marketplace. Some people are still struggling, but many are flourishing and growing. Occasionally, I run into companies who insist on cutting their advertising expenses. This is such a stupid thing to do when the economy is still somewhat shaky. These business owners fail to understand that when you stop advertising, your business becomes invisible. You pull your print advertising from the Yellow Pages, you stop paying for search engine optimization and search engine marketing, and you begin to focus all of your attention on social media.

If I have said it once, I have said it many times before ... unless your business appeals to the social media crowd, unless you are positive that your customers and prospects live on Facebook and want to be more intimate with you, then social media is probably not going to take off for you. Hiring an outside consultant to manage your social media presence is probably not going to generate a ton of leads or sales for you either.

For instance, if you have a coffee shop or pizzeria or a fun book store, then social media can be a very effective way to **augment** -- not replace -- your other advertising. By itself, it is not necessarily going to catapult your business to success without a significant effort.

I have met many business owners of manufacturing businesses who have added social media icons to their web sites and links to their various social media accounts. They are proud of the fact that they are doing this, too. They will tell me this is an essential part of their advertising strategy. But if you click through to their Facebook page, you will find they only have garnered a few likes or friends over the course of a year and no meaningful leads or sales activity. They will have tweeted once a month and have a few dozen followers and these tend to be either close friends or employees. They are wasting their time, and time is money.

It's a lot like building a web site, and never taking the time to update it or drive traffic to it. If you don't update it and don't promote it, no one even knows the web site is there. It's more than invisible. It's non-existent. Advertising is not a set it and forget it act. It is a process.

And for those who have stopped advertising all together and focused all their time and effort into social media, they fail to see they have become invisible to their prospects. Someone looks in the phone book for a product or service, and guess what, companies who are no longer listed have become invisible. Someone searches online on Google, and guess what, companies who used to be listed there are now invisible. All because they pulled their advertising budget. Bad move.

Invisibility has a very real and concrete cost. If you can't be found in print and online, then you're not receiving potential calls or inquiries from new prospects. And guess what? Your competitors who are still listed in print and online are laughing all the way to the bank and praying that you remain invisible a while longer. Why? Because the longer you stay invisible, the better the chances are that you will go out of business faster. Mua-ha-ha-ha.

So I don't know where you are at with your company's advertising, but if you've been seriously considering pulling in your ad dollars, take a minute to look at yourself in the mirror. If you can still see yourself, then there is hope. But if you've pulled your ad dollars recently, then take a good look at your reflection in the mirror because it could begin fading at any minute, and once you're invisible, it's too late.

July 4th Promotions

These special promotions are for my existing subscribers only:

1. BUY AN EBOOK COVER AND GET A FREE COPY OF DESIGNING EBOOK COVERS: $49.95 gets you a cover design and a copy of my ebook normally price at $27.00 in PDF format. Go to and make your purchase through PayPal, and I'll send your free copy of Designing Ebook Covers to read while I am designing your cover.

2. BUY ONE PRODUCT FOR $27 AND GET TWO PRODUCTS OF EQUAL VALUE FOR FREE: Go to and buy any graphic, web template, software, ebook or video product normally priced at $27.00 or higher, and then send me an email to telling me which two comparably priced products you want for free. Some third party products may not be available, but I will work with you!

3. BUY A SALES LETTER AND GET A FREE PRESS RELEASE: Send $300.00 to via PayPal, and I will not only write a sales letter valued at $500.00 for your web site, but also throw in a free press release valued at $150.00.

4. BUY ONE EBOOK AND GET ONE FREE: If you purchase any of my ebooks in PDF format, then you can pick a second ebook for free by notifying me by email at Here are your choices:

These offers are good until Sunday, July 8th, at midnight. If you have any questions, drop me an email. Stay thirsty, my friends. (Sorry, I always wanted to say that!).

Until next time,



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