Entries Tagged as 'marketing'

How Do You Not Know This: Print on BOTH SIDES

Peter K. O'Connell Voice Actor Business Card - Use Both Sides

You know how we all know stuff that other folks do not seem to know or are at least unaware of at that moment?

And yes…we’ve each been that person that didn’t know or was unaware (I know I have).

So anyway – I‘m just going to throw this out there for small or micro-business owners that might need this reminder – cause we gotta help each other out.

For most print marketing purposes (yes, I know there are exceptions) – print on BOTH sides of a sheet of paper.

What made me post this was (and I think over the decades I’ve posted this message before) AGAIN TODAY got an unsolicited flyer in my mailbox from a window cleaning service (printed on nice paper, attractively typeset, etc.) that was only printed on one side.

I believe that was a wasted marketing and branding opportunity (also I threw the flyer out because this kind of forced, unwelcomed marketing  – jammed in my mailbox – I find annoying as h-e-double hockey sticks).

But now back to the more valuable, overall marketing lesson.

Flyers, business cards, mailer inserts, postcards (that one should be VERY obvious)—point is whatever the printed piece — use the space you are given on the sheet of paper to get your message and branding across to your audience.

This does NOT mean you have to fill the entire document (front and back) with every darn thing. No, no, white space is still your graphic friend.

But you can use both sides judiciously, creatively and memorably to get your brand, message and call to action across to your audience.

If you’re going to shoot your shot…don’t leave any ammo unused.

Hope that helps.

Sometimes, clients and prospects just need to be reminded

Voiceover talents are (or should be) always either marketing their services or planning their next marketing effort.

It’s simply part of being a professional voice actor and running a business.

It’s the same for me (or any business really) – trying to come up with inventive and pleasant ways of letting my audience know I’m out here and I am open to work on their voiceover project.

The trick is not to be a pest about it.

My most recent voice marketing project was a textbook case of “marketing as a reminder”.

This is my second year of producing a generic, self designed, free, printed football schedule (8 1/2” x 11”) for my favorite team. I then share it with a targeted portion of my database – who all likely share that fandom with me.

2024 Buffalo Football Schedule

Aside from my logo and contact info – the majority of the calendar is just that — public information about the team schedule that my contacts can save or print out or toss. It’s just what I consider a nice way to say “hi” and promote our beloved team with a tool I’ve seen real estate agents use for years.

I say the following with 100% honesty – I had no expectation that this schedule was anything more than a “friendly wave” to my database.

About a day or two later, I get an email from a long time media buddy who received the schedule, noting that he was working on a project that would need a narrator for and my little schedule reminded him to call me.

He just needed a reminder.

Our reminders don’t have to be fancy or expensive or even a thing – I guess a phone call is a thing but the conversation is not something they can put on their shelf or tack to a bulletin board (but phone calls ARE great, subtle auditions for voice talents).

Maybe the point is to see your marketing efforts – regardless of your budget – as friendly, non-pesky reminders about your voice acting services.

A way to say “hi, when you’re ready, I’m here.”

You may find that they are, indeed, ready.

Hope this helps.

Micro-Business Owners Beware of Moo Printing

Moo Business Cards - Small Business Owners Beware

When you have worked with a vendor in the past who did bad work, but fixed it and tried to make it right, it’s fair that you give them a second chance (especially if you got a free credit on the 2nd job because of the screw ups on the 1st job).

In that second chance, when you speak directly to customer service BEFORE the project begins, tell them about past problems and ask customer service to spot check the project to avoid problem (they say they will) AND YET the vendor screws up the project anyway…because there WAS NO QUALITY CONTROL as promised…that vendor loses credibility as well as the business.

That’s what Moo.com did (erased all credibility with me) on my latest, professionally designed and submitted business card printing job.

Moo was warned about the past printing problems I had with them BEFORE printing started, ignored those detailed yellow flags I gently laid at their feet and went ahead and thoughtlessly botched the 2nd project of 2024 — just like they did the 1st project in 2023.

If you look at the graphic above, the bad business cards on the left side look like the printer jets went in one direction and the card stock in another and card cutter was have none of either.

The cards are the right show the work after the correction (and quality control check….finally) were delivered many days later.

So let this be a warning to ANY small or micro-business owner that Moo.com doesn’t really have a quality control check on small print orders. The embarrassed customer service rep from Moo even said I would likely be better served going to a small local printer on a project like this…except if you look at Moo’s marketing, they think my size business is a good prospect.

In short….

  • Moo’s customer service people are great, helpful and attentive
  • The actual cards I have had printed (after multiple corrections on both orders) turned out fine
  • Moo’s production and quality control team is (in my experience) crap

First I warned Moo to please check my project through to the end.

Now I am warning you of the unnecessary headaches I went through working with Moo on two projects about 1 year apart.

I hope you hear better than Moo.

Voice Actor Peter K. O’Connell Gets A Facelift

Revised Peter K. O'Connell Your Friendly, Neighborhood Voiceover Talent logoI love me a good headline but no, I didn’t get a facelift.

My voiceover logo got a facelift.

So I designed my new logo back in December on my Mac using Powerpoint.

I will now allow all the logo designers reading this to scream and throw their computers.

I get it.

What’s important to remember is that I wasn’t originally trying to design a new logo in December….I was only playing around and it just sorta happened. Kinda like how babies are made (or so I’m told).

Anyway, everybody seems to either like the new logo or not hate the new logo and life goes on.

Being technologically inept in the graphics part of my life (PowerPoint, for goodness sake, even I’m a little ashamed), I needed some adjustments made to the logo and I had to call in the calvary (i.e. Ann Hackett from aHa Designs).

I am her least favorite client because I am very specific about how I want things done AND I change my mind alot. She charges me triple her going rate but I still come back for more! Might be like 3 decades working together…I’ve lost count.

I sent her all and I mean ALL the darn specs/files I had on my logo (including the fonts) so she could recreate it with the changes I needed.

But her Mac and my Mac or my PowerPoint and her WhizBang graphics software don’t always play nice.

The outcome was she came up with my logo design kinda close but then made some minor changes and created a tweaked 2nd version that I really liked. So that was the facelift of Peter K. O’Connell, Your Friendly, Neighborhood Voiceover Talent.

I’m sure I’ll tweak it more as time goes on but I am very happy with this outcome on the revised logo.

Hope you like it too.

Voice Actor Peter K. O’Connell’s Interview with VoyageRaleigh

What a nice compliment for me to be invited to an interview with VoyageRaleighVoyageRaleigh Voice Actor Peter K. O'Connell about my voiceover business!

VoyageRaleigh is part of a group of publications around the country whose mission is to build a platform that fosters collaboration and support for small businesses, independent artists and entrepreneurs, local institutions and those that make each city interesting.

The interesting part for me was that they listed my interview under the section of “Rising Star” – some 40+ years into my voiceover journey!!! I’ve decided it’s better than being listed under the category of “Falling Star”.

At any rate, thank you VERY much to the VoyageRaleigh team for spending time with me.

The Greatness of the Greenville Yard Gnomes and Minor League Baseball Logo Design

From a logo design perspective (and you know I love me some logos), few things make me as generally happy and excited a Minor League Baseball logos.

Which is why I was so excited to hear about the Greenville Yard Gnomes.

Greenville Yard Gnomes Baseball 2024 CPL

The new logo for North Carolina’s Greenville Yard Gnomes, who begin their first season in the Coastal Plain League on May 24, 2024 at Guy Smith Stadium

Yes…that is a baseball team, a very new baseball team and I am here for all of it (even though Greenville is 90 minutes away and I may never get to a game). I’m all in on the Yard Gnomes.

I’ll tell you why in a minute but first a not-brief-enough explanation on baseball leagues for non-“sportsball” people, (and look, I like baseball but I don’t follow/live/die baseball – an MiLB game is a great night out for me #goBuffaloBisons #goDurhamBulls #goCarolinaMudcats).

For those who don’t really follow baseball, they may only know the Major League Baseball teams (MLB) – like the New York Mets or the Los Angeles Dodgers…the teams that play for the World Series and get most of the attention. Even non-sportsball people will recognize these and other MLB names.

These MLB teams ALL have farm clubs…a kind of feeder system of players and coaches for the MLB make up teams in the Minor League Baseball system (MiLB). In this system, there are ranked MiLB leagues of teams from lowest (Single A) to highest and closest to the MLB (which is Triple A). Below that that are a series of much smaller leagues that I refer to as Development Leagues (I’m sure there’s a better name but I’m trying to get to logos here, people!!) 🙂

So, as to why I’m all in on these non-MLB teams?

These MiLB farm clubs and smaller teams, in my opinion, have to work especially hard to gain attention in their communities to get people to come to the games and for advertisers to spend money.

There is sooo much creativity that goes into MiLB and Developmental League gameday events, preparation, sponsorship (maybe broadcasts if they are fortunate). But to me it all starts with two things for an MiLB or Developmental League team to get a good start and be able to build a franchise: team name and logo.

The team name and logo set the stage for everything that comes after it.

The name has to resonate with the community (historically, geographically, comically – take your pick or mix & match). The name or a nickname has to be something the fans will be able to proudly scream and cheer for. The icon colors need to tie in with the community or be really smart looking. Of course the logo itself needs to grab the community for so many reasons, not the least of which is merchandise sales.

Not sure?

Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs BaseballGo ahead and TRY and tell me you’re not the least bit curious about a baseball team called the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Biloxi Shuckers, the Lansing Lugnuts or the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels.

You’d be lying. Don’t lie to me!! 😉

So when I hear about a new, non-MLB baseball team, I know all the work, blood, sweat and tears (and often not great salaries) that went into the work (and will go into future work) to get the team’s branding right.

Which leads to this morning’s revelation (at least it was a revelation to me) that North Carolina is getting a new baseball team as part of one of those Developmental Leagues I spoke of…this team is the Greenville (NC) Yard Gnomes.

#GoGnomes (I made up that hashtag…not sure if it will stick).

Coastal Plain LeagueThe Yard Gnomes (which I imagine may start to be referred to by fans as the YG’s (pronounced “whygeez”, one word)) are now part of the Coastal Plain League (CPL), which is a collegiate summer league, featuring top-notched college players from across the nation. The CPL features 15 teams across Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Many of the CPL teams play in former minor league stadiums and cities, as well as in newly constructed stadiums that meet Class A standards. Capitol Broadcasting Company, a Raleigh-based broadcasting, sports marketing and real estate company bought the CPL in 2022.

It’s such a small league that, as of this writing, the CPL web site hasn’t even posted the YG’s new name & logo (Capitol Broadcasting has). No blame here, these minor-minor league leagues are often severely understaffed.

These are a collection of college players traveling across the South in summer, with players often living in the homes of local team fans who sponsor them with living quarters (players paying maybe a small fee) for the season. These players also have other jobs. The players need to really LOVE baseball because out of about 1,700 players, on average only 10% of them make it to the majors.

Peter K OConnell Holly Spring Salamanders Baseball

Raleigh-based voice actor Peter K. O’Connell – who really enjoys any night at a minor league baseball park – proudly models his Holly Springs Salamanders baseball cap from ’47 Brand. Holly Springs is a suburb of Raleigh, NC, The new (for the 2024 season) Greenville Yard Gnomes will be in the same summer baseball league as the Salamanders.

These facts I learned some years ago at a game of a sister CPL team to the YG’s, the Holly Spring Salamanders (and yes I have a Salamanders hat – of course it’s a ’47 Brand Cleanup — my favorite!!).

So all of that – the branding, the small staffs, the low budgets, the house rentals, the blood sweat and tears all went into kicking off this new baseball team in Greenville.

And the team name and logo are awesome. Fantastic! I love it. Why?

The Yard Gnome name, just as a guy on the outisde looking in to a market/community I do not know much about, is unique, quirky and fun. The name brings a smile. This to me is a VERY good start and memorable for a league whose average game attendance seems to hover around 1,000 on its best nights.

ECU Pirates Athletics

The Yard Gnome logo is cute, charming and whimsical…like yard gnomes (unless your neighbor has, like, a thousand of them in the front yard).

The CPL has created a brand story to tie in the legend of gnomes with Greenville’s East Carolina University’s Pirates and some of the history of baseball in Greenville to make it all flow.

Brian Begley Graphic Designer NJ

The Yard Gnomes logo was designed by Brian Begley, a New Jersey-based artist, who is know for his ability to blend historical and contextual elements with a clean, simple style.

The YG’s will enjoy their inaugural Opening Day on Friday, May 24 against the Tri-City Chili Peppers at Guy Smith Stadium, their new home.