Simple Advertising You people are idiots.

2Jan/08Off

Small Business Reduce Advertising Costs

NeighborWave has a number of pages about reducing your advertising costs. In fact, it's exactly what we do. Our mission is to reduce the cost of advertising for small business while using better techniques to increase the effectiveness. We carefully target your messages and create your content so that it can be used again and again. Internet, Print-- wherever you like you'll use the same effective content. We use simple and free tools wherever possible and we keep you in control. We are here to help small business compete, not send you a bill every month for work we did last year. You pay us once- we finish the work and you own it. Simple.

Here are the some of the ways that we work to reduce cost:

Choosing The Right Advertising Placement

Choosing The Right Advertising Production

Teaching you how to Manage your Advertising

Trends in standard advertising show that businesses are spending more money each year to get a reduced result. Big Business in particular is spending new money trying to enter the local internet search market. Why? Because it's valuable. We have a client who is pulling down over $40,000 in new business from local internet searches. She's just an ordinary service business, a one man band, seeing a big increase and spending very little.

Advertising is changing-- how you make it, where you put it, who pays attention. We can help you to keep your businesses advertising efforts out of the huge mountain of unwanted, unread, disregarded and ignored advertising.

First things first-- get found by Google.

Call us-- we'll help you make some money.

5Jan/08Off

Get Better Web Hosting

Blue Host is doing a great job at keeping their interface simple and clear. And they answer the phone. For Small Businesses, that's a "gotta have it" feature. Want an even better way to save money? Host your website with some friends. NeighborWave can help you consolidate your advertising--we'll even coordinate your cooperative advertising with neighboring business, your cousin's businesses, anything that you want to work with. Web hosting packages now let you host more than one web site-- in fact, they'll let you host hundreds of websites for about $70 per year.

CLICK HERE TO SIGNUP FOR Hosting at BLUEHOST.COM NOW.

Need help migrating your small business website to a new host? Yes, we do that.

13Apr/08Off

Advertise Cooperatively

In the simplest example, a shopping district has a geographic footprint. That footprint defines not only where you are, but it locates your customer base pretty well, too. Why not consider getting together with some of your neighboring businesses and sharing the costs, sharing tips, and supporting each other in your marketing efforts? If there were a flood, would you help each other sandbag?

Some very ordinary cooperation can benefit all parties-- including your customers. Your location is part of your brand and cooperative advertising strengthens that brand. Maybe some positive steps could help you get ready for a flood of customers!

3Jan/08Off

Advertising Gotchas!

There are a lot of 'gotchas' out there- seemingly simple choices that can reduce the effectiveness of your advertising. A simple example: use the email account that comes with your website address-- like this "you@yourbusiness.com"-- not this-- "happy@yahoo.com". The "yourbusiness" name is recognizable and it's from a real business. Another gotcha is building your website on a name that you don't own. Many companies assume the legal ownership of what you create. Your advertising winds up belonging to someone else!

Our writers, designers and technicians have worked through dozens of small technical problems just like the gotchas above. But technology isn't the only place where you can get got... have you checked lately to see if anyone is using your name? Are you buying placements that don't actually help you? We really don't want to use fear marketing, but the details of your marketing can go wrong and hurt instead of help. Most gotchas are fairly insignificant, but there are definitely some advertising mistakes that we see regularly. Our attention to detail will protect your interests, increase the value of your advertising investment, and get you speaking more directly to customers.

15Jul/08Off

Simple Print Ad Creation

This is a guide for making your own print ad using free software.

This page is quick, dirty, detailed and free–AND you can get to the finish line.

Don’t kid yourself. There are a few steps to doing making a print ad by doing it yourself. There is a lot of conflicting advice advertising. It’s hard just to navigate all the terminology, even harder to understand all the services and then-oh hang-there are actually THEORIES about this stuff. Forget all about that stuff.

If you have a really short attention span, here’s a quick tip: don’t begin by trying to buy an ad. The company that sells you ad space is selling you **space**. YOU need to supply what goes in that space. Below is just one way to do it. If you follow the instructions carefully, you can create the computer file that you need to give to company selling you that print ad placement. The important part is to pick a work plan that you can actually do. We're happy to answer any questions if you want to give this plan a try.

The first question (for you), and this is really important: are you willing to budget both money and time? If you are not yet willing to do both, you may not be ready to advertise. Here’s the lowdown on what advertising actually is: when people talk about business competition–they are speaking exactly and precisely about advertising. The ‘competition’ happens in front of prospective customers using communications that we call ads. If you want your business to compete, advertising is worth both time and money.

YOU Create Your Own Print Ad.

  1. Pick your budget. This answers the question of how big to make your ad.
  2. Choose a message. You need words. Ads need words. Don’t clutter. Small words. Not too many. Ask for buyers. Include phone. Get it?
  3. Choose Software. If you were hoping to use chisel and stone, that’s over in the sign department. But you’re right that you need software tools. A print ad requires page layout software. The name brand page layout software is Adobe Illustrator. PhotoShop is NOT the tool for page layout. The freebie in the examples below uses software named Inkscape. Do consider donating to the Inkscape project if you use it. They worked hard and it can help your business create good advertising. Inkscape download.
  4. Design Your Layout. Use the Inkscape drawing tools to create simple shapes to accent text and any pictures. Avoid clipart. Consider using photos instead. Use a simple font, but change the typeface using bold and italics for each statement. Change the FONT SIZE and capitalization for different lines of text. Do not get trapped into thinking that it’s not good enough. Keep your focus on this: make it say something.
  5. Shop For Placement. All publishers that sell print advertising are offering you what is called a ‘placement’ in front of an audience. It’s not unusual for them to sell you space even if they know it won’t work for you. YOU need to be able to understand ‘who’ is the real audience of a particular publication. Don’t take their word for it–look at the publication and ask yourself: Who reads this? If that audience doesn’t match your product’s audience–don’t buy the ad.
  6. Place The Ad. You are the customer. They need to make this easy for you. If they don’t–don’t buy the ad. Tell them how you are working (even if you just point them to this page). Ask for any help that is included in the price of the ad. A good publisher will take your advertising file and correct simple mistakes to help you. Their submission guidelines will probably require you to use “Save As” to deliver the type of file that they want. Again–they should help you.
  7. Practice Makes Perfect. This is the part where print ad publishers learn to love our company NeighborWave. Count on doing it wrong and have that be part of your plan. Learn. You will definitely learn as you go along. The way that you make room in your work plan for mistakes is to keep showing up for the game. Don’t run ONE ad… run a series of them over time and keep using your tools to change the messages to connect better with real people.

You’re done! You did it!

Below are a couple of VERY RUDIMENTARY templates for use with the Inkscape software. If you find these unsatisfactory… we made them damn ugly on purpose so that you’d have to get in there and learn. If you need to see a pretty logo, go here. This page is about YOU creating your own simple print ad yourself. NeighborWave is for hire–and we’ll get you using great, effective advertising techniques–but that’s not the point HERE on this page. You can use the templates as a starting point. Download both the templates and the Inkscape software. Just open the files and click on one of the boxes or the pieces of text and start creating. Don’t over complicate it–your goal is to create and place your own ad. You can do this.

If the clicking the pictures below doesn’t work for you… here’s the same stuff in a zip file.

simple inkscape ad example

Download Here

15Jan/08Off

How You Should Create Advertising Source Materials (Pictures)

There is a lot of information in your advertising. Sometimes HOW you make it has a great influence on where you can use it. You work with two types of information: words and pictures. An important step in reducing your advertising costs is creating your source materials using methods that let you recreate new ads using from your existing materials. I like to think of this as "data recycling" where you get to re-use the results of your previous work. But you have to work smart.Advertising copy is as simple to re-use as copy and paste, but computer graphics in advertising requires a little more planning.

Computer graphic files are created and stored in two general formats. 1. Bitmap Files come from Photoshop and similar programs- these are simple pictures and it's very important for you to understand that they have a specific size. 2. Vector Files come from Illustrator and other programs- and these work a little differently. Vector based images are actually the result of the math to create the lines and areas of the objects in your graphics. Vector based images do NOT have a specific size- and the result is that you can resize the image from a tiny icon on a computer screen all the way up to a 50 foot billboard.

What's the problem? What should you do? When you produce your advertising source materials you spend money. If you work smart, you won't have to spend that money again but you must retain those original works in a usable form. Always insist that you get the right source materials so that the materials can be resized for other kinds of publishing. Vector based files are best for you because they can size up with no loss of quality. Another source that is important is for you to have the original high resolution bitmap files. Your "picture" files might look fine on your website, but when you expand the same file for use in print-- it doesn't work because the quality degrades. With Image files you can make them smaller, but you can't make them larger.

Here are example images that are just zooms into our logo. The Vector image be used even at billboard size. The second image is bitmap.... you decide.
low-res-vector.jpglow-res-bitmap.jpg

For your own advertising recycling plan, it's imperative that you keep copies of your high quality graphics. NeighborWave always produces using the right content with the appropriate tools.

We do have a simple Inkscape Tutorial to help make your own print ad.