Archives for November 2013

A few inexpensive stock video clips, a cool music track, some good copy, and presto, instant 60 second promo video.

Yes, it truly is that simple in this day and age. With the help of Apple Final Cut Pro, any garden variety graphic designer/copywriter like myself can morph into a video producer without too much effort. I would estimate that this little promo video below probably took eight hours or less, and the stock clips cost about a couple hundred bucks, maybe.

Anyway, it’s not too difficult to create a really cool, and effective .60 second spot that tells your story in a way that traditional words and pictures just can’t. Just keep your message simple and don’t get too crazy with the graphics and videos.

Waterstone Mortgage: the ultimate lead generation kit for lead generation geeks.

Obviously, Waterstone Mortgage is in the mortgage business, but in this fiercely competitive arena, it’s more like they’re in the lead generation business. When you meet with their people, you rarely hear them talk about mortgages, real estate or other stuff you’d think they’d talk about. But no, it’s all about keywords, conversion rates, remarketing, landing pages, and on and on.

So this website I created for the domain specific http://twincitieshomeloans.com/ (can’t use the main domain for a variety of reasons I can’t go into) along with a boatload of Adwords display ads, pack a nice little one-two punch that yields enough leads to keep a office full of hungry mortgage brokers busy.

That’s the intent anyway. Word on the street, it is converting quite nicely.

 

Streetwise Reports: getting the brand focused in the right direction.

Streetwise Reports feature interviews with industry-sector experts–analysts, money managers and newsletter writers–backed by the latest research summaries, news and company profiles. It’s a combination of information and insight investors can’t get anywhere else.

I was hired last winter by partner Bill O’Neal to help get some some focus on the branding elements is these different websites, working each individual logo, and making sure the sub brands of the various reports did not overshadow the main brand of Streetwise Reports. Fun to work with Bill.

Passionate entrepreneur spreads the word about Thea Holtan’s amazing writing tools.

About a year ago, I met a young gentleman at a MESA group meeting named JJ Parker, Co-Founder of an outfit named Tightrope Media Systems. Long story short, JJ is a highly energetic and passionate guy who was looking for help building a wordpress website to help tell the story of a woman named Thea Holtan who devised a brilliant writing instruction system for kids. Apparently, JJ was one of Ms. Holtan’s pupils back in the day, and swears by her methods for teaching the fine art of research and writing.

To create a website to help JJ spread the word about this, the primary task was telling the story, really breaking down why kids can’t write, and how Thea Holtan’s Thinking & Writing Process can helps kids learn in a simple, logical manner. In a nutshell, the process offers helpful Teacher’s and Writer’s Guides with clearly illustrated instructions that lead the student through the research, organization and writing phases. By following each step, students learn to think logically, and write coherently.

It is very cool to note, however, that the Thea Holtan Website was not a for profit venture for Mr. Parker, at least not what I gathered. But rather, it’s just a project that he wanted to pursue to give something back, or simply create something of value. That I can truly appreciate.

I wish him the best of luck!

Olup & Associates: setting the gold standard for family law in the twin cities.

When an affluent Minnesotan is ready to cut ties with a spouse, attorney Linda Olup usually gets a phone call. Because, when the assets are considerable and things get contentious, Linda is the attorney you want in your corner, not your spouse’s. You definitely don’t don’t want her playing for the other team.

Linda and her firm have been practicing family law for over 36 years, with countless victories to their credit.

Linda heads up Olup & Associates, LLC,  one of the Twin Cities leading family law firms. I was hired by her firm to do some minor re-brandng, and a major overhaul of a site that had close to 70 pages. Having worked with many attorneys in the past, I’m familiar with the somewhat black and white nature of many law websites. In my estimation, many law websites are very grim, bleak, cold even. To really help Olup & Associates stand out, the job was to really breathe some humanity into this site, so that when prospect landed here, they would quickly understand the focus on family law, and the care and sophistication the firm could bring to this highly contentious area of law.

The goal from day one, was to communicate that Olup offered the Gold Standard in all areas of family law. And with over 70 pages of family law content, all carefully edited by Linda Olup herself, the site hits the mark with flying colors.

It was time for a facelift, and new SEO plan. Fibercare gets both.

Several years ago, we built a website for a local company named Fibercare who specializes in hotel cleaning services for national hotel chains like Marriot, Sheraton and the like. This past Summer, I rebuilt the site in wordpress to refresh the brand, and create a more up-to-date CMS using wordpress. This is a pretty straight forward website design, incorporating a form on the home page for easy lead generation, and links from the home page widgets wot each of the site’s main pages.

But at it’s core, there lies a really solid Search Engine Optimization plan that accounts for roughly a dozen solid leads a month based on their primary keywords…hotel carpet cleaning, hotel cleaning services, etc.

I also shot and edited a promotional video that plays on the front page that tells their story of their cleaning capabilities. Finercare is a great client, super easy to work with. A pleasure doing business with them.