Skip the Socials and Try Modern Marketing Alternatives

In 2015, Facebook supposedly influenced over 52% of its active users’ offline and online purchases. This is a staggering number, and it’s something which has attracted a lot of businesses to this platform and others like it. Of course, this makes sense, as social media can be great for marketing. But, it’s not the only option. This post will be exploring some of the alternative options you have to social media marketing, to help you start expanding your reach.

The Billboard

By the sides of roads and in the hearts of cities you will always find billboards. Some of these relics are decades unchanged, displaying adverts from a forgotten time. Their age and lack of demand make billboards very cheap for small businesses to lease. With an advert designed, it’s easy to place it somewhere where thousands of people will see it. This sort of option is best for businesses with a large demographic, as they benefit from a bigger range of people seeing the advert.


  • It’s cheaper than other methods, giving you the chance to save some money.
  • They are easy to design, maintain, and set up, all through one company.


  • They’re not very good for niche companies who won’t get enough interest from them.
Image Credit: Flickr

The Trade Show

Sometimes, it can be better to go for a more direct approach, looking into ways to reach a lot of people personally. A trade show can provide you with just that. If you choose the right event for your business, a portable presentation booth can be erecting and set up by another company, leaving you to work. There are loads of trade shows for niche markets like gaming, hobbies, and electronic e-cigarettes. If you have a business like this, going to a small event would ensure that only people interested in your products will be there.


  • It’s very easy to have a booth made for you which will represent your company well.
  • This method will be good for any sort of company, as long as the right event is chosen to match your business.


  • This is probably one of the most expensive ways to market yourself. Though, once the payments are made, they may never have to be made again.
  • An event will take a lot of time and effort to arrange, and you may have to travel.
Image Credit: Flickr

The Humble Flyer

A lot of businesses work locally with their clients and customers to get their job done. This can lend itself well to a more direct approach which is much more far-reaching than a billboard or trade show. There are a lot of companies out there offering flyer printing and distribution services within your local area. For a trades-person like a plumber or an electrician, being able to get in direct contact with their local people are an excellent opportunity. Along with this, a flyer can work for broader or online businesses, too. But, you will have to have a much larger distribution area.


  • This is by far the cheapest method on the list.
  • It’s very easy to set up, as long as you have someone who can design the flyers for you.
  • This method is good for all types of business, as long as the right areas are chosen.


  • Some people will ignore flyers, making your investment useless to them.
  • A lot of work has to be done to get flyers to a lot of customers, costing you more and more as time goes on.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working harder on the marketing methods you use for your business. Sometimes, it’s best to slip into a niche and use methods other companies have forgotten. Of course, though, when you’re trying a different option, you take on a degree of risk.

Blame 'Best Picture' Fail at the Academy Awards 2017 on Bad Graphic Design

Last night’s Academy Awards (aka The Oscars) fail wasn’t just an error because of a duplicated envelope, personally I think it was the fault of poor design. No different from the infamous “Steve Harvey moment”.

As we all watched Warren Beatty’s hesitation to announce the winner of ‘Best Picture’ at the 89th Academy Awards, you knew something was definitely off. Faye Dunaway seemed to have been completely oblivious, no fault of her own since part of the problem was being handed the wrong envelope. However, the real problem was ‘bad design’.

Good design would’ve eliminated that colossal fiasco that was the presentation for ‘Best Picture’. All it needed was a better layout and simple adjustments in specific font size for the award category (Best Picture/Best Actress) and film title (Moonlight/La La Land).

Here’s a closeup of the design layout used versus my interpretations of how the cards should’ve been done.

The actual design used at the Academy Awards showing the real winner, Moonlight

Good design should facilitate clear communication. The reader should be emboldened to read without second-guessing what’s presented before them.

For your consideration, my design alternative that uses the same information with just slight tweaks in the layout and font size, where applicable.

Notice the order in which the information is displayed from top to bottom

Increase the font sizes for the most important information and change around the layout.

This should’ve been how the result cards looked

Here’s the result! Done! Oscars…you’re welcome.

Good design applied to the Oscar moment looks completely different


Adventures “InDesign”: Creating a Promotional Booklet

InDesign CS5 copy

“A limitation is a limitation only because you’ve done nothing to move beyond it.” — S. Drowym

It’s been a while since my last blog and this time I want to write about my latest design adventure.

Last week, I was offered the opportunity to design a promotional booklet and gladly I accepted the job not realising that the best software to create said booklet would be Adobe InDesign. There was a rush on the project and the client would need to have it within three days. Now usually I’m always apprehensive about taking on these rushed jobs, but I jumped at the chance.

So back to Adobe InDesign, it’s stellar software and what it can create in terms of materials for print is beyond amazing. I knew that little fact, but I didn’t know the software. In the past I had attempted to use it, especially because I used Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop so often to create flyers, posters, programs, invitations, and such for clients.

What do you do when you’ve just accepted a job to design an 18-page promotional booklet, but you don’t know the software to execute that project? You tell yourself you can learn the software in 24 hours of course!! That’s the attitude I took, but half of the time I knew I was lying to myself to keep a steady head. Thankfully there are innumerous readings and tutorials online to get pointers and lessons from. I think my favourite might have said something about “InDesign 101” and “11 steps to learning InDesign”; not quoting them verbatim, but you get the idea.

To make a long story short, I decided my best approach would be to learn basic tips, study the commands of the software and make as many mistakes as I could. Ye olde “trial and error” (mostly the latter) never fails. I was able to teach myself how to use InDesign and successfully so, thus creating a really class act design for the promotional booklet. The design only took a mere 28 hours of my life. With so many moving parts, it’s no wonder the software is such a great tool to have. The best part is I just expanded my skill sets and can now take on design projects like creating ebooks, booklets, magazines, and newsletters.

Here’s one tutorial I’ll leave with you if you’ve been thinking about learning the basics of Adobe InDesign. It’s only 11 minutes long, but will impart a lot of good directions: Creating and Applying Master Pages in Adobe InDesign

Until we meet again! Keep designing!