If someone in customer service was helping you with a product, but then insulted you by saying you look like a homely celebrity, would you want to buy anything from them?Read More
Jezroc Metalworks, a high-end metal shop in Zionsville, Indiana, produces a wide array of brilliant and beautiful products. Lead the Pack designed their new website, which showcases their work in large photos on smartphones, tablets, and desktops.
Owned and operated by Matt Quanrud and Jen McNew, Jezroc Metalworks was founded in 2008 and started out by creating custom metal dog gates. I first had the pleasure of meeting them when they contacted me while I was director of communications and marketing at the Humane Society of Indianapolis. Matt and Jen love dogs and wanted to volunteer their services to IndyHumane.
They started by creating the custom gate, shown below, for my office: I often had troubled dogs in my office who needed extra training and love, but needed a sturdy way to keep them safely in the room.
Jezroc to the rescue! They went above and beyond with their creation, which prominently featured IndyHumane's paw/heart logo. The gate wasn't only beautiful, but functional as well.
In addition to decorative metal craft, Jezroc specializes in custom industrial metalworking services. They do incredible things I know virtually nothing about: CNC plasma cutting, welding, and all kinds of fabrication.
Even though I don't know much about metalworking, I'm learning quickly as I help Matt and Jen promote their small but quickly growing business. One thing I do know, though, is how to promote a small business.
I met with Matt and Jen this summer to discuss their business goals. They have plenty of customers now, but wanted to ensure that the flow of incoming work continues.
They had a website previously, but weren't pleased with the functionality and needed to better represent their brand through content marketing.
Their new Squarespace-powered website provides the functionality they need. It's simple to use from the backend: They can quickly add blog posts with custom layouts, share their content, and create custom photo galleries of their work.
And the site is user-friendly for visitors, as well. Large, easily navigable slideshows showcase Jezroc's metal pieces quickly and smoothly not only on desktops, but on tablets and smartphones, too, meaning that potential clients can check out Jezroc's work easily before deciding to hire them.
Visit jezrocmetalworks.com to see more of their work and learn more about their services, and leave a comment below to or contact me let me know what you think or if you're interested in getting a new site for yourself.
If, like many people I've spoken with recently, you're wondering, "What the heck is content marketing and why should I care?!?", check out my article in the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce magazine.Read More
Thanks to everyone who voted for me to present at the Mixwest marketing, social media, design and tech conference in Indianapolis, I'll present a session called, "Cute Kittens & Craft Beer: How Social Media Can Enliven Established Brands."
See you there!
Vote for Lead the Pack's presentations at this upcoming marketing, social media, design and tech conference and support my fledgling business at the same time.Read More
A new website, a better logo, and a new direction
I started Lead the Pack two and a half years ago when I was still Director of Communications and Marketing at the Humane Society of Indianapolis (IndyHumane) as a way to make extra money. I had grand visions of transforming it into a grand full-service marketing agency.
Fast-forward to today, and I've been doing Lead the Pack work full-time for just over three weeks. After I left IndyHumane, I worked at NUVO - Indy's alt-weekly paper - overseeing their digital efforts, making sure everything looked great online and was shared socially. I also led the redesign of Indiana Living Green's website after it was purchased by NUVO (little-known fact: the tulip tree - Indiana's state tree - in the logo was my contribution to the magazine's rebranding). I then worked at xiik, where I was in charge of basically marketing the marketing company (read my blog posts here.)
But for the past several years I've dreamt of working for myself, so now I'm applying my experience full-time to Lead the Pack.
I no longer have dreams of growing my business into a large agency - there are plenty of competitors in Indianapolis and beyond who have a firm foothold in the "we do EVERYTHING" marketing space.
But there aren't a lot of truly talented content marketers who want to help small business owners like themselves. So instead of trying to do everything for everyone, I've rebranded Lead the Pack. If it grows into a big company naturally, great. If not, no biggie.
I'll still design a simple logo if someone needs it. And I enjoy setting up simple Squarespace websites (like this one) - after all, the majority of small businesses don't need a completely custom solution, likely to run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
But my core skills aren't graphic design, and they aren't web development. I'm best at telling stories, and Lead the Pack now revolves around that key skill.
I redesigned Lead the Pack's website (more on that in a forthcoming post) and tweaked the logo's design. Yes, I can play designer or web guy. But frankly, I'm better at sharing what makes businesses and non-profits compelling in other ways.
If you or someone you know need help with content marketing, let me know. What's content marketing? Basically, it's telling your organization's story through media that you control (as opposed to paid ads on traditional media like TV and print). How do I tell my clients' stories?
- Brand strategy. If you aren't using the tools at your disposal toward a main mission or key business objectives, you'll waste time and money. For the past year, I've been helping Bloomington Brewing Co. figure out the best way to tell their story with their audience as they branch out beyond Bloomington, Indiana. I'd love to hear about your grand goals and help you reach them.
- Writing and blogging. Everything you send out to your target audience should not only be well thought-out - it should also be written in the most concise, effective way possible. Your website is the best place to start and should act as a "home base" for all of your content, starting with your blog.
- Social media marketing. If you aren't on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or newer social networks like Instagram and Pinterest, odds are good that your competitors who are there already have a leg up on your business. With a decade's worth of experience in social media, I can help guide your efforts so you don't waste your time.
- Email marketing. Ah, the old digital-marketing standby. No matter how technologically advanced someone is, they still use this relatively old technology. It may not be as fun or exciting as social media, but it's still a great way to reach people. Even if you don't like email newsletters, it's important to remember that 1) you need to offer choices of how people can hear about your business, and 2) it's simple today to repurpose content - say, from your blog - into email marketing messages.
So that's a bit about Lead the Pack's new direction.