Monday, December 26, 2011

Being too clever can make value a tough sell

When I put together I decided to include quite a few features that I thought were pretty nice perks, especially given the pricing I put on it. Perhaps they were. The problem was, I'm an elevator speech kind of salesperson. I tend to do business directly with other small business owners who I know are also very busy and pressed for time. As a result, I've tried to devise marketing products that I can explain in a couple of minutes. This one didn't fit the bill. When I did try to explain it, it just sounded cumbersome and probably a bit confusing. Someone used to doing longer presentations may have made it work, but that's just not my wheelhouse.

So, I went back and tweaked the deal. (here's the new Advertiser Info page) The concept remains the same. The terms are simplified and the pricing even came down a bit. The important thing is, it's a value I can explain in a manner that makes sense for me and for the prospective customer.

Lesson learned? Make sure your value proposition is tailored, not only to your customers needs, but to your strengths as well.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Win a Holiday Gift Bag

Enter to win one of 5 Holiday Gift Bags at Easy Street Designs.
Kettlecorn from
Colorado Gourmet Kettlecorn
Homemade jam from
Izzie's Sweet Treats
Free 16 oz Latte from
Chick's Espresso
and lots more goodies.

Must register in person at Easy Street Designs, 109 Kiva Rd, Colorado Springs, CO
One entry per person per visit please.
Limit of one winner per household.
Drawing will be after close of business on December 22, 2011.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Basket Give-Aways, Stuff Wanted

Here at Easy Street Designs, we used to give away one large prize as part of a holiday drawing. With the down economy, we decided a couple of years ago that 5 smaller prizes would bring some good cheer to 5 times as many families, so we put together Christmas Baskets full of toys and games and coloring books and such. They've been a big hit.

This year we want to add a new twist - free goodies from our business customers (can be for kids or adults). Naturally, businesses that donate to the prize baskets will appear on the posters and in the basket itself. You may also add your business card, flyer or brochure to the prize.

Prize should be stand alone, no strings attached. It can be a gift certificate, but no coupons, no free consultations or inspections, no buy one/get ones or X% offs (this promo is aimed at generating goodwill, not necessarily an immediate sale).

If you'd like to participate, call 719-390-5080 or email

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Newsletter ads available through Nov 30th

It's short notice, I know, but I have some advertising space available on the Holiday issue of the Stratmoor Hills Newsletter from now until Wed (must deliver newsletter by Dec 1).

The newsletter comes out twice a year and is hand delivered to 540 homes in the Stratmoor Hills Neighborhood Association (north B St, south of Cheyenne Meadows Rd). Complimentary copies are also furnished to the Fire Dept, The Utilities and Water Depts and the Sherrifs Office and County Commissioners.

Cost for a black and white ad is $35 for business card size, $55 for a 1/4 page, $100 for a 1/2 page or $175 for a full page.

Space and time are limited. Call 719-390-5080 or email to take advantage today.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Magnetic Business Card Calendar Special

Now through November 30, 2011

Magnetic Business Card 2012 Calendars, just 35 cents each. NO MINIMUM

Your business card adheres to the front, magnet on back.

Instant Promotional

Order today by calling 719-390-5080 or email

- cover choices may be limited on quantities under 300
- flat rate shipping $7 to the Continental U.S.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Local Advertising Opportunity, Security/Widefield

Newsletter ad opportunity, Security - Copperfield HOA newsletter, 425 delivered to residents (off Crawford), full color business card size ad - $35. Call or email Easy Street Designs today. Spots are limited.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Promotional Sun Shade and LED keychain light sale

Now through August 22, save big on car sun shades and LED keylights from Norwood.

To take advantage, call or email Easy Street Designs today!


Click on the flyer image for more information.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Stratmoor Hills Newsletter ads - Just $25 for 600 residential distribution

The Stratmoor Hills Neighborhood Association is preparing to distribute the first of the two newsletters they produce annually. The 12 page black and white publication is hand-delivered to 600 Stratmoor Hills residents. Copies are also provided to the Stratmoor Hills Fire Dept, The El Paso County Sheriff's office, and El Paso County commissioners.

We have ad space available at $25 per business card (3.5" x 2") space.

If you'd like to be included, please call Easy Street Designs at 719-390-5080 or email ASAP.


Stratmoor Hills covers the area between B Street and Cheyenne Meadows and from Venetucci to Westmeadow.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Is Social Networking Becoming a Tower of Babel?

Google is re-entering the social network arena with Google Plus. Although it’s not yet available to everyone, the trial phase has exceeded even the company’s own grand expectations. Facebook’s users continue to grow, LinkedIn had a very successful public stock offering. Twitter usage continues to climb and there are dozens if not hundreds of other smaller players in the social media game, with more entering every day. In addition, there are companies whose business model is based on usage of other networks. Hootsuite, for example, allows you to post to a number of different social media sites at once. Other companies offer services that include data mining, people finding, industry searches and more.

For the small business owner or independent service professional, it can all be a bit overwhelming. At what point does it all just become noise? The number and variety of social networking sites is likely to continue to grow exponentially. How do you keep up with it all?

First of all, don’t panic. You don’t have to keep up with it all. When you go to an all you can eat buffet, and there are 17 different entrees, you’re not required to eat them all. Focus on what interests you and build from there.

Second, if you’re using social networking sites for networking, just rely on the same principals that apply to any form of networking. Networking groups, whether live and in person, or on the web, are places to make and maintain contacts, which may lead to very productive business relationships or may not. A networking group or site can be viewed as a relationship farm. The productive fruits of your labor should be harvested and stored for best results.

Social networking sites are really shared databases on steroids. People enter information into the database which can be shared with everyone or with a select group. You can make use of that database to create a personal database of your own, with just a simple spreadsheet or add more detail to your email contacts list. For efficient target marketing purposes, you don’t want to store information about everyone on your Friend, or Contact, or Followers lists; only those that you actually do business with or have a high likelihood of doing business with. You decide what information is important. For example, I’ve added keywords in the notes section in which I enter the product or products that customer orders most often. That way, if I’m having a special on a particular product, I can search for those who are most likely to take advantage of it, rather than spending time and/or money promoting a product to someone who hasn’t ordered any of it in the 10 years we’ve been doing business.

I’ve only started updating my own database recently. it occurred to me that trying to stay in touch with my core customers through a half dozen different online networks, on which only a small fraction of my connections are ever going to see any particular post, is probably not the most efficient way to make use of the media. It’s interesting and fun, but how do I put it to good use? Social networks can help you add more useful information to your business databases, such as birthdays, interests, hobbies or anything that might help you target a particular marketing campaign more effectively.

All this great software and these communications tools are offered “free” because the companies behind them resell your viewing time in the form of advertising and your personal information in the form of market research and targeted databases. Why not make the relationship reciprocal? Be a consumer of the information as well as a contributor. Use it as much or as little as you want, how you want, on your schedule and on your terms. Take what you need and don’t worry about the rest. When you walk into a real life networking event and there are dozens of conversations going on at once, you don’t try to participate in all of them. You engage in one at a time and make the most of it. You can run around and hand out a business card to everyone, or you can take the time to get to know a handful of people a little better. Which do you think will benefit you more in the long run?

Social networking doesn’t have to be a Tower of Babel. It can be more like a mall full of coffee shops. Visit the ones you want, try a new one or frequent a favorite one. Meet someone new or catch up with an old friend and try to make the experience productive, whether you’re working on a business or personal relationship (they often overlap). In any case, always remember, you’re in charge. What you put into it and what you get out of it is entirely up to you.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Local Advertising Opportunity, Security/Widefield

Copperfield Home Owners Association is looking for sponsors for their quarterly newsletter. Distribution quantity - 500. Neighborhood - roughly between Security Blvd and Grinnell, off Crawford (80911). Direct mailed.

There are three, full color, business card size ad spaces available at $65 each. If you'd like one, call Easy Street Designs at 719-390-5080 or email

Fountain Valley Community Guide online

The 2011/12 edition of the Fountain Valley Colorado Community Guide is now available for online viewing at

Hard copies are available from Community Guide sponsors, at Easy Street Designs, Fountain City Hall, Evans Army Hospital and other local businesses, organizations and utilities.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Universal Marketing Principals

I was on an online science forum the other day "Nimblebrain Forums" and replied to a frequent poster who had expressed frustration over his inability to influence the science community that much of the science of the universe is incorrect and needs to be rewritten. In doing so, I later realized I hit on a few great underlying principals of marketing in general:

You just have to come up with a concrete, undeniable demonstration of how the current science doesn't work. Preferably an example that the average sixth grader could relate to.

I have my own suspicions about the underlying nature of the universe, but until I can show how not looking at it my way causes you real problems in your daily life, who cares?

Contradictions between science and observation of objects 10 million light years away can be easily ignored, since most of the population will continue to be blissfully unaware and unconcerned one way or the other. Build a flashlight that shouldn't work, but does and people will pay attention. Much easier said than done, but that's how you change science. Throw the contradiction in everyone's face and lots of folks will get busy on the rewrite.

But before you can make people believe, you have to make them care.

I'm not talking about the professional cosmology crowd. The incentive there, for the career guys, is to demonstrate understanding of the current consensus. That's how you get speaking engagements, cocktail invitations, promotions, tenure, grants, etc. You don't dispense with the status quo until you're in danger of looking like a total buffoon if you don't. You don't want to be the last guy defending an obviously flawed theory, but there's no real danger in not being among the first.

If you're really trying to promote new science and academia isn't buying it, you need to explain it to the masses in language the average Joe understands. Joe is no less intelligent than the academics, but he's not going to get very far, very fast if he has to pull out a Cosmological Terms and Equations encyclopedia after each sentence. And if you want Joe to give you some time and attention for a topic that you're way more interested in than he is, you have to connect it to something that Joe is very interested in.

1. You have a product, service, idea or agenda that you want to sell. Now you have to make me care. It may do exactly what you say it does, but why should I even look at it? Demonstrate to me how having this thing, or at least learning more about it, is better than not doing so.

2. Speak to and seek to impress your customers, not your professors. I get trade magazines all the time. Many feature the very latest in printing technology. A lot of the new toys may or may not be a good investment, but after reading the ad or the article, I still have no clue because I'm not an engineer or someone who has already owned a similar product, and no, I'm not going to go to night school just so I can understand your sales pitch. Speaking to your audience and not over them, does not mean you have to "dumb it down" or omit information. You just have to use a different vocabulary. If you can't do that, you probably don't really understand the material.

3. Know your customer. Before you can influence a potential customer, you have to open a line of communication. You want to locate people who would be interested in buying what you're selling. What else do people in this group have in common? What do they read? What do they watch? Where do they go? What activities or events are they more likely to attend? Answering these questions can provide opportunities to make first contact with your potential customer.

A lot of things change over time in marketing. Public opinion, current events, legislation and generally a dynamic society keeps marketers on their toes and makes it a challenging and satisfying pursuit. But the three principals listed above are constant. It's not rocket science, but a good foundation to keep in mind when developing a presentation or campaign.

Monday, April 4, 2011

New From Easy Street Designs - Web Flyers

It's not quite a website. It's more than a banner ad, and it's cheaper and easier than both.

Maybe you've been meaning to get around to building your website but just haven't had the time, or extra money in your budget for a webmaster. Maybe you've been meaning to update your site with your latest specials but just haven't had the time. Well, it you can create a page in your favorite word processing software, you can have it on the web tomorrow. Need help with the layout? We can do that too.

Easy Street Designs now offers web flyers for as little as $5/month. Easy Street will Post and Host your full page (7.75" x 10") full color flyer for $30 for six months. You can swap out your flyer for a new one anytime for just $5. We'll also add up to 5 text links in the right hand menu at no extra charge. Link to your website, your social pages and/or more Post and Host pages.

Your webflyer page will have your business name in the URL, i.e. Paste the url in emails, on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, on your main website. It's a hassle-free, affordable way to get your current information online fast.

Visit for more information and to view the sample page.

To get started today, call Easy Street Designs at 719-390-5080 or email

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Free raffle ticket offer

Listen up locals! Step one - Make sure you've "liked" Easy Street Designs on Facebook. Step two - come down to the shop and get a free raffle ticket for a brand new gas grill compliments of Black Hills Energy and the Fountain Valley Chamber of Commerce (drawing May 9th). No purchase necessary. One per person. Offer expires at 6pm today or when I run out of tickets (I've got 108 on hand).

Additional tickets are available for purchase. $1 each or a book of 6 for $5.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Using Twitter for virtual meetings

Twitter is rapidly emerging as a real-time new source. In nations where dictators have attempted total news blackouts, people are producing their own news feeds by posting to Twitter. The concept can also be used for business and other forums, discussions and meetings. You just need to be familiar with Search and Hash Tags.

The search feature works like any other. You simply type in a subject, i.e. Egypt, and recent and popular tweets containing the word "Egypt" will appear. To see the latest, refresh the page or click on the "recent tweets" link (it will say something like "20 new tweets")

The hash tag identifies a common search term for a thread or topic. For instance if you post a comment about grapefruits, but your sentence or phrase doesn't actually contain the word "grapefruit" you add a Hash Tag, which is just the # sign in front of the term. i.e. #grapefruit. now your tweet will appear in a search for the word "grapefruit".

To use this as a meeting venue, participants need only agree on a date/time for having the discusstion, then select a unique hash tag. If you want to discuss Project X, you might use #projectx. First do a quick search to ensure nobody else is using it at the moment. Participants then log in to Twitter at the appropriate time and begin each post on the topic with #projectx. Then do a search for projectx to see all the recent and continuing tweets.

A Twitter meeting or "Tweet-up" offers convenience in that participants need only a free Twitter account and access to the Internet via computer, smart phone, tablet, netbook, or most any device with Internet access. Posts are limited to 140 words each, so input has to be concise, which could mean a more efficient and productive conversation.

On the downside, meetings are not private or secure. You're posting your conversation on a global forum. It's not a place to discuss anything you wouldn't mind the whole world seeing. Of course, anyone who knows the time and the hash tag could "crash" your meeting, but if you know who you're supposed to be talking to and have a firm grasp of the subject matter, it's not too hard to spot and ignore unproductive intruders.

The bottom line is that Tweet-ups are yet another tool to foster greater communication and cooperation. The fact that it is so transparent may actually cause people to think for another second or two before they express what's on their minds. That certainly couldn't hurt.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Welcome Home bags for 3'd Brigade on Fort Carson

Easy Street Designs received the following notification from MWR on Fort Carson.

Note: Easy Street can help you with coupon layout and printing for this program with 3,500 full color glossy 1/3 page coupons (80lb gloss text) at 7 cents each for one side or 12 cents each for two sided. Call 390-5080 or email As stated in the letter below, although there is no fee from MWR, coupons must comply with conditions spelled out, be approved by MWR (we can forward any artwork we develop for approval) and there is a simple advertising agreement that needs to be signed between the advertiser and MWR.

Good Morning All-

Fort Carson is getting ready to receive our 2nd largest Brigade
3BCT/4ID, all due to be home by 17 March.

I am hoping to give them the best Welcome Home Bags ever- loaded with
wonderful offers for them for coming home in one piece!

Please pass this on to all your network, clients, friends, etc. The
Welcome Home Bag offer is free to the business but must adhere to these
simple procedures:

1: Offer must be completely free and not contingent on a purchase.

2: My office must approve all artwork before the coupon is printed, the
official DOD disclaimer must be printed on each coupon.

3: Each business must be under a simple advertising agreement with Fort
Carson DFMWR.

4: There is no charge from DFMWR, the client pays for the printing and
delivery to my offices here at Fort Carson.

5: Recommended number of coupons to print is 3,500.

6: All coupons must be delivered to Fort Carson by 10 Feb. for bag

Offers that have been received well in the past: Free tattoos, foods,
auto services, tax services, clothing, etc.

We also offer a Welcome To Fort Carson bag to all newcomers (approx. 30
per day), this offer does not have to be free and costs $300.00 for the
year, all of the above guidelines must be followed.

DFMWR thanks YOU for your support of Soldiers and Families!

I look forward to hearing from you and your network soon!

Nica Anderson
DFMWR Commercial Sponsorship and Advertising Sales Manager
Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fort Carson
Office 719-524-1901
Cell 719-492-6121
Fax 719-524-1345 - large artwork