Smarthinking

Smarthinking

Marketing and communications

PO Box 1006, Berwick, VIC 3806,,,,,,,,,,,,

ABN 99 002 437 078
EST 2007

ABOUT

Want to attract the kind of client best suited for your expertise? You may need more distinctive positioning. Steve works with service-based businesses that have trouble getting the right message to the right people. You may be stuck talking about what you DO (the process), instead of what prospects GET (the results). Smarthinking can help you attract and keep new customers with efficient, effective marketing systems.

services

SmartStart – Low-cost startup packages

SmartStart – Low-cost startup packages

Project-based creative services to extend and maintain your on- and offline marketing – naming, logo, stationery, website, content, advertising, print collateral, sales letters. Comprises: 3 x 2hr One-on-one weekly sessions; flexible service levels: business strategy, sounding board for ideas and tactics. Ideally suited for: launches of new products or services, businesses wanting to reposition themselves

SmartPlan – Strategic plan

SmartPlan – Strategic plan

A concise marketing strategy for service-based businesses. Marketing recommendations that analyse your market, your business and your competitors to arrive at the best positioning, target market, core marketing message and promotional mix. Mandatory for all ongoing engagements

SmartMap – Creative Plan

SmartMap – Creative Plan

An important optional adjunct to the Strategic Plan. Ideas and concepts for marketing messages and campaigns are prepared as rough sketches or written drafts. These ideas may manifest in various applications including (but not be limited to): on- and off-line advertising, landing pages, websites, reports, articles, posts etc. Optional for ongoing engagements

SmartSystem – Implementation

SmartSystem – Implementation

Flexible program of up to 10 modules, allowing the choice of self-fulfilment, incorporation of existing suppliers, or complete ‘hands-off’ engagement. Time is needed for measurement and refinement of campaigns. After a minimum engagement period of six months, SmartSystem services can be adjusted or cancelled with no penalty

recommendations (1) Add a recommendation

Damien Elsing

Damien Elsing I've worked with Steve on a number of projects and have always found him to be extremely knowledgeable and diligent. He really cares about getting the best outcome for his clients, and goes the extra mile to ensure they get great results.

blog

Speaking to your prospects in Klingon? Part 2 of 3

Speaking to your prospects in Klingon? Part 2 of 3

Part 2 of 3 Four Colours of Buyers The first studies of personality types were done around 400BC... read more

Speaking to your prospects in Klingon? Part 3 of 3

Speaking to your prospects in Klingon? Part 3 of 3

Part 3 of 3 How to influence buying behaviour Will an understanding of the Buyer Group Colours... read more

You can’t build a brand with branding.

You can’t build a brand with branding.

Content warning: don’t read any further if you’re happy to accept prevailing branding... read more

Failing to convert? Are you speaking to your prospects in Klingon? Part 1 of 3

Failing to convert? Are you speaking to your prospects in Klingon? Part 1 of 3

Part 1 of 3 Problem: There’s plenty of interest in your services and consequently you’re getting... read more

Your marketing sucks. No? wait…

Your marketing sucks. No? wait…

Your marketing sucks. No? Wait… yes it does. I’ve seen it. In the twenty-five years I’ve been... read more

Is branding necessary? Can branding be replaced for service-based businesses?

Is branding necessary? Can branding be replaced for service-based businesses?

Forget branding. Unless you sell soap. Or cornflakes. Or petrol. Businesses; services;... read more

View more

Related Articles

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How to know if you should scale up your profits

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We spend so much time as business owners working on growing and expanding our businesses. Seldom... read more

How to Increase Your Income with these 3 Options

How to Increase Your Income with these 3 Options

If you are one of those savvy workaholics who can't do only one thing and wants diversity in work... read more

3 Ways on How to Best Grow a Long Term Client Base

3 Ways on How to Best Grow a Long Term Client Base

Growing a long term client base is the key of operations in every business whose job highly depends... read more

Are You An Uber or a Taxi? The Answer Could Predict Your Time In Business

Are You An Uber or a Taxi? The Answer Could Predict Your Time In Business

How would you react if I tell you that if I asked just one question -- the answer could potentially... read more

4 Business Investments You Must Make

4 Business Investments You Must Make

Congratulations, you established your business! Things are working fine, and you are making profit.... read more

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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Steve Osborne answered a question

How much would be our budget to advertise our webplatform?

Hi DenisThis is not the answer you're looking for, because you're asking the wrong question.At this point in time, no-one but you knows your audience, competitors, circumstances, experience and expectations. I think you should be asking (yourself):...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How to find a competitive advantage as an accountant?

James, it's a perennial question and never easy to find the right answer. For me, it's an integral part of the greater issue of positioning.Traditionally, there are two main areas you can look at within your business to find competitive advantage....

Steve Osborne answered a question

How to increase my online business sales?

Garbo, having looked over your website, there are numerous ways to increase your traffic. Advertising is the most obvious. However, increased traffic doesn't necessarily equate to increased sales. If your current marketing and sales systems are...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How can I make my meetings more effective?

Always have an agenda, and then stick to it. No more than 5 items per meeting, with a designated timeframe for each subject. That could be 5 minutes each for a half hour meeting, or ten minutes each to get out in under an hour. Ensure everyone...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How much does advertising cost on Foxtel?

Call the Foxtel advertising department and ask them.

Steve Osborne answered a question

How can I get more customers into my Cafe?

Tell us what you've tried already, and what results you had.For instance, the usual promotional methods of letterbox drops, in-person visits, weekly specials, free delivery, appropriate signage, online ordering etc. all have an important place. Each...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Do I need a bookkeeper?

Assuming you are registered for BAS and have sufficient turnover to be making claims, my understanding is that yes, you will need an accountant for your end of year return. And unless you are a registered tax agent, I suggest a bookkeeper as...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What is a good coffee shop business plan?

NickA good coffee shop business plan is exactly the same as any other business plan. Without one, how will you know where you are going and how will you recognise when you've reached your destination?There are good answers to this question within...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What do you do when you get into a dispute?

I guess it depends on the situation and context Nicole, but if it's an internal matter of opinion rather than fact, as the business owner yours is the final word.If a dispute with an external entity, I would seek an independent ruling – arbitration...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What makes a good marketer for my business?

Nathan, if you describe the problem you're having with marketing your business, we might be able to describe what makes a good marketer for it. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting very generic answers. Like these:A good marketer for your business...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Do you lean more toward Marketing or Reinvestment?

Put it all on red, marketing.Peter Drucker, the father of business consulting, once made a very profound observation:“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How can I encourage students to book in for these workshops?

More background required please, Tiffany. What is your current strategy for attracting new business? Which tactics have been successful and which less so?

Steve Osborne answered a question

What makes you different from your competitors?

What makes you think you need to be different from your competitors?No, I'm not trying to be smart. It's a legitimate question. Do your customers or prospects buy based on differentiating factors? Do they value differentiation? If so, to what...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Do I need an accountant to start a business?

The short answer is no. While highly recommended, it's not mandatory. The extent you need an accountant (or any other professional service provider) will depend on your type of business, revenue, structure.For example, if you're running a hobby...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Do I need a lawyer to start a business?

The short answer is no. It's not mandatory, but it will depend on the type of business.If retail, you will want a lawyer to attend to your lease agreement.If service based, your fee-for-service contracts.If a family concern, your succession plan.If...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What are some ways to monetise a site like mine?

To me, you're asking the wrong question.The question should have been: How do I get people to write guest posts for my tour guide/bike hire/camping supply business?The people who made money out of every goldrush in history were the merchants selling...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Should I start a Sole Proprietorship, Trust, Partnership, Company?

Whichever best suits the type of business you are building.

Steve Osborne answered a question

How much should I capitalize my business with at the beginning?

Enough to enable you to carry out the formative aspects of your business plan, plus a 3 month contingency.

Steve Osborne answered a question

Where do I get funding from?

If you're a startup (no revenue; untested business model) – from investors: venture capitalists; family and friends.If you're an established business (profits; proven revenue model) – from a bank.If you're an upstart – (revenue but no profit;...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How do I come up with a business name?

Not an easy question to answer, Richard. But if you get really stuck, there are marketing consultants and identity firms whose job it is to do this.You will want your business name to: help you stand out from your competition; provide recognition...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Where do I get a government grant to start a new business?

There are good answers to a similar question here:https://www.savvysme.com.au/question/56-how-do-i-o...And if you are a Job Seeker with an idea for a small business, you may qualify for this:https://www.employment.gov.au/self-employment-new-...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Do you have your bookkeeping and accounting done by the same company?

Like Steven, I see nothing intrinsically wrong with having one company handling both aspects; a case could easily be made for the advantages. A client of mine does exactly that–she runs the bookkeeping business and her partner the accounting...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How do you know companies have an on-shore team?

Yes, you are certainly entitled to ask any supplier if any aspects of their production are outsourced. I suspect the importance of the outcome is relative to the amount of money being spent with said supplier, and the degree of personalisation...

Steve Osborne answered a question

An Online Survey, have your say and help me understand you (my customer) better

Recently shopped at Harvey Norman for new kitchen appliances: wall oven, stove top, dishwasher. My responses:1. a2. a3. aProcess could not have been easier. We got exactly what we needed, at a price we were happy with, with no upsell sales pitch.

Steve Osborne answered a question

How can I get a venture capitalist to pay attention to me?

DebraA similar question* was asked some time ago by one of the Savvy community. Ling asked:"What can I reasonably expect from venture capitalists for my new startup?"Altho' you may or may not be a startup in the traditional sense, I think the way...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Has anyone here been successful at generating low cost or what i call smart traffic?

Michael"Low cost" is a relative term. It depends on the expected/achieved ROI (Return On Investment).For example, I may spend $10 per click on a PPC campaign to gain a 10% conversion rate, on a product worth $100. That's a poor ROI.The same $10 and...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Who here utilizes letter drops for professional services?

Hi AnitaIt may fall into the "traditional" and in some eyes out-of-date box of tactics, but we've had considerable success with direct mail for professional services selling B2B.And depending on the service and the offer being made, even unaddressed...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Is there a rule about using google images for flyer advertising?

Yes. The rule is: don't do it.If you do not own the image, it is not yours to use.See above answers for copyright-free alternatives.

Steve Osborne answered a question

My devs don't have expertise in these areas so was wondering if anyone had any experience (good or bad) using Upwork?

Like Jef, I too have used UpWork/Elance for some time. Much less so these days, not because of any bad experiences, simply because I find it too hard to distinguish between a huge number of competing freelancers.The platform I'm currently using for...

Steve Osborne answered a question

If you ever wondered why some services, coaches or retreats are priced where they are?

By showing them proof of your value. Demonstrate your results. The ROI must be clear for your prospect. My general rule of thumb for demonstrating value to service-based business prospects is between 6–10x. Any less, and the "indifference lever"...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How do you deal with business owners who are sensitive to criticism but you need to provide feedback about their work?

My approach is to set myself up as the harbinger of Doom right from the start. I make it very clear that my communication style is one of simple, unadorned, straight-talking language and that I don't mince words.I make sure the client understands...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Would you prefer to attend a training workshop that was run over 5 consecutive days?

Definitely 1 day a week for five weeks, rather than five classes in five days. And that assumes the class is for no more than 2 hours per session. There is no way everyone will attend over 5 consecutive eight hour days. The reasoning is that no-one...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How long do you wait to make a follow up call?

Many of the small business owners I work with, regularly submit proposals as a culmination of a new business pitch.One of the hardest things for them to get accustomed to, is the fact that their proposal is way, waaaay down the list of priorities...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What are people's suggestions for a font for a picture book please? Helvetica?

I suggest the reason Helvetica appears popular is because it's common and easy to specify due to lack of choice. The best of a bad bunch, not necessarily because it's the right font for the job.If the type for your picture book is to be set in a...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What fonts do you find the most professional?

JohnYour question reminds me of the Desert Island typography game. You can only take 10 fonts with you, so list your go-to typefaces to cover every conceivable written situation. Yes, it's fun and interesting, but no, it can never be definitive.What...

Steve Osborne answered a question

When looking at advertising, what is it that helps you decide to spend your hard earned money?

SteveThe only thing that influences advertising spend is ROI – return on investment.After you've factored in all the variables – available budget, target market, sales cycle, media channel, creative execution, desired outcome, plus a little bit of...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Is it more advantageous for a small business to employ or outsource their marketing help requirements?

Jackie, my stock answer for most service-based businesses is definitely to outsource, for the following reasons:Depending on your familiarity with the plethora of tools, tactics and media available, it makes sense to go with the experts. Seldom will...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Can any Xero experts advise whether it's possible to have two invoice template with different logos and contact details?

I'm by no means an expert with Xero – a user only, but I can confirm that it is possible to set up your invoice templates to carry different corporate identification. In fact, that's exactly what we do when billing to different client groups.Once...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Which email marketing service is the best?

Aside from the excellent suggestions (Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor) from Chloe, we've had success with MyEmma.Support is fantastic, pricing reasonable, templates well-designed, usability excellent.We started out on a $35/mth plan, which has now gone...

Steve Osborne answered a question

At what point should I cut off slow paying account customers from additional credit purchases?

Probably depends on what kind of relationship you have with your client; how crucial they are for your overall revenue; what proportion of total revenue they make up and whether you want to retain them or not.Personally, I ditched offering credit...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Should I send an introductory email in the first instance, and then follow up with a phone call?

VijayaMore info required please. What kind of business? What kind of product or service? What kind of prospect do you want to attract?Different industries have different accepted ways of making cold calls. However, all are based on making a...

Steve Osborne answered a question

I would love to know what stops you from using a maintenance service?

PeterSame reason we no longer have petrol attendants and are happy to pump our own. We've been conditioned to do the basics ourselves, at little or no cost.If you can demonstrate a clear and compelling reason to use and pay for such a service, you...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Someone said 'consultant' is a bit wishy washy these days. Thoughts?

PeterBusiness naming is a perpetually interesting subject. There are as many different approaches as there are different kinds of names. And there are many traps for young players. Seeking professional advice can often mean the difference between...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What do people think of a cash price for service over product cost? Or does that sound like a hidden surcharge?

While not necessarily sounding like a hidden surcharge, it does sound a little strange/fishy to offer a discount for cash payment on a B2B service. As a service business, you are perceived to be "above" that sort of thing. Personally, my expectation...

Steve Osborne answered a question

I design websites specialising in hair extensions, hair websites/businesses. Is 'Hair and Beauty Websites' too boring?

If for a business identity, I see nothing wrong with using 'Hair & Beauty websites' as a descriptor to accompany the business name, which can then be a little more creative, if desired.Alternatively, you could use something likeSilky Smooth...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How feasible is 30-40k a month doing web design and SEO as a new company?

It's totally unfeasible, unless you have a client. Either several high-paying, or lots of low-paying. What is your marketing strategy for attracting these clients? You're entering such a saturated, highly competitive, price-driven market that your...

Steve Osborne answered a question

For those who attend expos, what do you take that I might not have thought of yet?

Hannah, tell us what you've thought of already and we'll tell you what you're missing.I've designed/consulted on many expo stands across several industries and have a basic laundry list of do's and don'ts, standard requirements and duties. To avoid...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What is the best way to attract young marketing talent for your small organization?

Give them something beyond a pay cheque. Give them challenges, respect and compliments. Give them something to believe in.

Steve Osborne answered a question

How do I measure customer interest in the planning stage of a startup?

If you're not already aware of it, Steve Blank (The Lean Launchpad, The Lean Startup) has a great phrase he uses for every startup in the same position as yours. "Get out of the office."https://steveblank.com/tools-and-blogs-for-entrepr...Meaning,...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Would SME owners be interested in a custom news service?

Not unless it offered something to make people want to change from their current resources. Parity is not enough. What are you offering that can't be found anywhere else?

Steve Osborne answered a question

What percentage of the total marketing budget are companies willing to spend on digital marketing in the consumer goods

While I understand the question James, if you're trying to get an average for FMCG products, it's impossible to answer.Depends on: the total budget; the size of the company and the size of the market; the business' positioning relative to its...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How do you successfully launch a product?

Depends entirely upon your budget.The question could be better answered if a little more qualification were added e.g. how do you successfully launch XXX product to a potential market of YYY size with a budget of ZZZ?In this context, "best practice"...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How do you convert a physical piece of artwork/picture into a digital one?

Depends whether the desired output is 2D or 3D. And what you want to use it for.If two-dimensional, you photograph it and digitise the file into the format you require.If three-dimensional, you convert the file into a hologram or set it up for CAD...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How can a PR campaign help my company grow?

Strictly speaking Susan, on its own PR won't help a company grow. Or rather, it can't. However, once achieved, it's what you do with the results that will foster growth. PR does one thing exceptionally well. It garners publicity. If you can convert...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What is the number 1 marketing effort a very new B2B SaaS has to focus on?

In my view, the company/product's value proposition is the No.1 item on the marketing agenda for a new business offering. All marketing messages are derived from the value proposition, particularly the flagship positioning statement. It's difficult...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How do I find potential clients interested in software development and management?

Figuratively, you find out where they live. Then use a combination of appropriate inbound and outbound tactics to reach them and convey your message.

Steve Osborne answered a question

Do you qualify your leads?

JefAny number of words have been written on the subject of prospect/sales qualification. So in short, as answer to the first, yes. The question is somewhat circular. If a lead is not qualified, they are not a prospect. If a prospect is not...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How Does Your Brand Go Viral?

PaulaBrands don't go viral, content does.There is only one trick to having a picture/article/video/meme/tweet/post/etc. become insanely popular and that is, there's no trick.You can't control it. Those that try invariably come unstuck. You can't...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Do I sell my product to someone else to resell?

HannahBefore you do anything, I suggest you take a long, hard look at your pricing structure. 11.90 profit, purely what I make on shirt not including my labourI'm not sure you grasp the meaning of the word profit. If I read you correctly, selling at...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How much should I pay someone to develop a website using Squarespace Shift?

Hi YeeBecause SquareSpace is a self-managed, or DIY platform, I'm guessing your plan is to be very "hands-on" in the site building process. You probably want the ability to change designs and page layouts on the fly, and see alternatives before...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Would a self-drafted contract with an individual, not based in Australia offer any protection?

AllisonRebecca Carroll-Bell and Jenny Tse are two of the legal minds here on Savvy who could undoubtedly answer this question more fully. From my own observation, this looks like a straightforward proposal confirmation document requiring agreement...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What is your take in regards to neuromarketing as an advertising technique?

My take is that neuromarketing is less an advertising technique than a market research measurement tool. Whether the science of studying brain patterns in response to marketing stimuli works or not is a moot point. You either interpret the...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How can you create trust with customers?

Ananda, as Lisa sys, it may be semantics, but the problem lies in the way the question is framed.No-one can "create" trust. You can't "make people believe in your products." Depending on the value of the product or service, people will only buy from...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What kind of events would you want SavvySME to host?

In person informational topics presented by guest speakers followed by facilitated networking, appeals to me. As does the idea of a debate, provided there is strict administration and oversight. Very easy to degenerate into an online personality...

Steve Osborne answered a question

As a small business owner, where do I start with marketing?

Yee, inspired by your question, I started writing an answer but soon realised it was turning into something more. For the detailed response, see my new article: Suffering from marketing overwhelm?And for the short response, segment your audience,...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What's your reputation worth?

It's a good question Jef, but only raises others.Which companies or situations are you referring to? Is it the businesses or the people within them? What was the perceived standing of the business and what did it do to compromise its reputation?...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What to consider when looking for a business partner or employee?

There are three separate and somewhat generic answers required here, I think. Because of course, it depends on who you are, what your business is and what your short & long-term goals are. Having qualified my answer, here's what is important to...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What is the difference between hype and speculation?

Jef, my view of a generally accepted definition of the two phenomena is this:Hype – self-serving and self-generated. Meaning, anything paid for or instigated by the business (PR, advertorial, advertising, some aspects of social media) in support of...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How do you turn a good business idea into reality?

For me, the key steps for a start-over would be very simple. I wish I had come to this realisation much, much earlier in my 25+ years in business instead of searching for an elixir. First, ensure the product range and service delivery is properly...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What is your best advice for someone looking to start an online retail store?

You could tell her – "Don't."Or if her dream is to make a small fortune, tell her to start with a large one.Of course, free advice is worth exactly what she pays for it, so it's likely she will proceed anyway.In that case, I suggest she start with a...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How to improve my speaking skills during networking events?

Ling, if it's the introduction part you're struggling with, I endorse Steve's advice to ask a question first. Get the other person to open up a little before you jump in with your "carefully crafted, word -perfect, self-serving" elevator pitch,...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Aside from LinkedIn, SEO, SMM, SEM, are there other ways to market to potential clients?

Leo, you might try the old-fashioned face-to-face methods. Join a large, local business organisation or CofC and get to know the members. Attend business events in your area and seek out people who are positions of influence. Join a professional...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What is your favourite or preferred project management system?

Maria After looking at quite a few including a couple already mentioned and several highly sophisticated (expensive!) tools, I went with Project Bubble. It fits my main criteria in that it's intuitive to use, shareable and has easily defined...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What can I reasonably expect from venture capitalists for my new startup?

Hi Ling, without knowing what your startup is about, my comments are pretty general. Therefore, it depends. Amongst many other things, it depends on what industry you're in, what the scalability potential is like and how much skin the founders have...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How do you sell something that is free?

Hi Michael, as Lisa says, Ripe Near Me appears to have somewhat stolen your thunder. Also, I can’t see anywhere in your model where revenue is going to come from. I have assumed there is an up-sell planned in the future. To answer your question, I...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Can you recommend good web developers in Sydney?

Hi Yee I have several recommendations in Melbourne, if you're happy to work remotely. Does it matter where the firm is based?

Steve Osborne answered a question

What is the number one skill required to build a successful SME?

Neil – at risk of over-loading the answer, a coupla years ago I did some research amongst seminar attendees on this very subject. When asked to rate their importance for success, those surveyed ranked the following seven qualities most highly:...

Steve Osborne answered a question

From go to whoa, what is the process for getting a new product into either/both sports retailers and pharmacy chains?

Can anyone tell me whether line fees are required for the bigger retail chains, in the same way as the supermarkets?

Steve Osborne answered a question

Are leaders in SMEs keen on developing leadership skills?

Hi Louise Here's a dumb but genuine question. What exactly is meant by the term 'leadership'?  It's bandied about so much by politicians, media, big business etc. and I really don't understand why. My rule of thumb has always been that...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Would you pitch advertising/design/marketing concepts to clients?

Thanks to all who've posted comments so far. Here's a bit more detail on how this might work. The model is intended to attract concepts only, not execution ie. production would not be included in your submission. This is not a 99Designs...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What content for newsletter would make you read one?

There are of course tons of tactical tips for getting your newsletter opened, but in my view there's just one strategic reason a newsletter gets read: relevance to the target audience. No amount of special offers, jokes, or stunning graphics etc....

Steve Osborne answered a question

How Much Do Copywriter Charge To Rewrite a Web Page?

In our firm, a typical small website project goes like this: We give clients a comprehensive Briefing Sheet containing a wide range of questions about the business, the market they're in, their competitors and their goals. From the answers supplied...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How do I change my business name?

Assuming you want to continue trading while you make the transition as quickly as possible, I suggest the following steps: 1. Register the new name at ASIC; register domain ​2. Prepare new identity – logo, stationery etc 3. Create interim website –...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Have you ever engaged a service provider from a telemarketer cold calling you?

Making a sale directly from a cold call is impossible, or if it happens, a complete fluke. it's like throwing a fishing line into the ocean and expecting a whale on the hook when you reel it in. No business owner in their right mind will commit to a...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Is there a difference between a branding and a marketing agency?

Glen, so is branding a sub-section of marketing or vice versa? And is active promotion simply a form of advertising?

Steve Osborne answered a question

Is there such a thing as too much marketing?

There is probably no such thing as too much marketing, but only if it's effective. Meaning, if marketing is poor/misjudged/fails to reach the audience, etc. – is ineffective – then yes, it's money wasted therefore too much of a bad...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Can you provide a testimonial for SavvySME?

SavvySME is a great resource for pofessional service firms and small business. The range of expertise and wealth of knowledge available through a simple question and answer format is remarkable. We've already made valuable connections with several...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What's the one word you could use to describe your brand?

Tim Your question hits precisely upon one of my greatest marketing bugbears! It may be semantics (plants tongue firmly in cheek) but I question why anyone would want to be called a "brand"; and if so, why on earth would someone restrict...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How important is a business logo for a sole trader?

Julie At risk of upsetting the apple-cart, I suggest the importance of a logo is low on the requirements for a sole trader, particularly in your line of business. Of far greater importance is your business name. It's the first thing...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How can a website/graphic designer attract more referrals?

Jenny While the obvious time to ask for a referral is immediately after you've provided exceptional results for a happy client, there is another time within the sales cycle that asking for a sales lead can work just as well. It's during what I call...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How to choose the appropriate media for marketing a new business?

MichaThe answer is... it depends. Of a great many things, here are but three: 1. who you're trying to reach; 2. what you want them to do once you've reached them; 3. what your budget is.Do I detect from the tone of your question that you're asking...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How do you pitch a creative idea to a client?

Hi Kealey Actually, you might be surprised how often companies get pitched new creative ideas. More often than not, big businesses have a policy on unsolicited ideas. Just ring up their Communications Dept and ask. You might also be surprised how...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How do you generate more business for your web development agency?

Michael The answer is the same whether you're a web developer, a financial planner or a plumber. The applicable marketing principles cross all service industries. And you've no doubt heard them all before.  Accept there is no shortcut, no silver...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What are the legal considerations when starting a business?

Dj, I think you've answered your own question! It depends entirely in what business area the idea is based. Financial planners need a license to practice, graphic designers don't. Online retailers need to comply with rules imposed by merchants,...

Steve Osborne answered a question

How can I use discounts or promotions to attract more clients?

Kealy, There's a section on Anthill called Antmart that might be what you're looking for.  It works by running a heavily discounted offer which is redeemable only when a predetermined number of people take it up. Go...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What can I do with a $100 marketing budget?

You don't specify a timeframe or any goals, but here's a suggestion for what it's worth. I would spend my $100 on membership of my local business networking group (CofC, council-organised, church-based, whatever) ensuring there were at least 50 –...

Steve Osborne answered a question

Are you getting value from your email list?

Nick, at risk of glossing over a great many variables, in my experience it usually comes down to how well the message (your content) is conveyed to the market (your list). Some of the variables are: suitability of offer; appropriateness of language;...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What are your favourite business websites?

From a predominantly marketing perspective, here are a few I like: Small Business Info  – http://sbinformation.about.com/MarketingProfs – masses of info, great forums – http://www.marketingprofs.com/ The Ad Contrarian – irreverrant views...

Steve Osborne answered a question

What tools can I use to create a quick campaign landing page?

Listed by Brent hall above, I use: Lander

Steve Osborne answered a question

What are the differences in the way men and women do business?

Answer to both questions: No. I don't buy in to the whole – men/logical; women/emotional debate. It's probably possible to point to generic examples of men being more competitive and women being more reflective, but as both buyers and sellers, I...

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Steve Osborne

Steve Osborne Top 10% Branding director

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