Free online logo design

Recently I was asked where to get a free online logo design in our Facebook Group. I was actually curious myself so I did a little research and came up with some ideas for you.

From a business risk standpoint, I really wonder if getting a free online logo design is where we want to be skimping on our budget. If you’re just going to go out and get a Starbucks for $4 – $6 anyway, why don’t we figure out how to save money on something temporary like coffee and put that money into something permanent like the logo?

Since the logo of the product or the business or the idea becomes the face of that thing. Becomes the identifying mark. Becomes part of the brand in the minds of our audience, trying to get it free means the cost is more important than the symbol.

But wouldn’t it make sense to try and get the very best logo design we can get, figure out what it is going to cost to get that, and then figure out how to make or save the money to pay for it? That way we get the very best design AND we walk away as if we got a free online logo design we love.

So, let’s look at three good options:

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If you know what you want the design to look like, and want to do it yourself, then I’d use Gimp. Gimp is a free version of PhotoShop. It’s got a learning curve for sure, but there is not a question YouTube can’t answer if you need help. We made virtually every one of our logos AND remade some of our logos on Gimp.

Not only is it a good tool for logos, but also for banners, headers, photos and any other thing you need to do to a graphic. You can’t make a clickable spot within an image, but I think you can do just about everything else.

The drawback to Gimp is the learning curve and time. Is graphic creation really your best use of time?

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If you know what you want the design to look like and can draw or describe it, but want someone else to do it then I’d recommend Elance or Fiverr. Both of these sites aggregate freelancers who have design skills. You just post your product asking for bids and freelancers tell you what they would charge to get it done.

On Fiverr, it’s a bit easier. You search for a guy who will do a design for you for $5 and send him the drawing. Then you get the drawing made into an online logo design. It’s not quite free, but $5 ain’t bad.

The only real catch to Fiverr is that the freelancers are hoping to turn the gig into a higher paying project. So they may give you a 400 x 400 pixel image and ask that you pay a bit more for a large-scale, high res version. There is not much leeway in terms of making revisions at the $5 rate. So have a good drawing to start with.

Elance on the other hand is true professionals bidding to be your personal logo design consultant. They bid on the drawing you upload, the description you give them. . whatever you can provide. It costs more than $5, but sometimes no more than $30.

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If you need a design quickly and want to be highly involved in the creation of that logo, then we’d say use $99 Designs. We used $99 Designs for the creation of the Blogging Concentrated logo and were delighted with the result.

To start we paid for their $299 package which got a lot more designers involved. The idea behind $99 Designs is that you post a job request and the designers actual create a finished product for you right away, as opposed to drawing up a proposal. And then over the course of 3 days you have the option to comment, reject, accept, ask for changes to every logo design that comes in from artists.

Over the course of our 3 days we commented on just about every idea that came in. I believe we had 266 renderings to look at, some of which you can see here.

The critical piece to $99 Designs is that you must be active with the designs. Failing to comment and provide further direction to the artists just stalls everything. If you are respectful, appreciative and helpful in your comments they are more than willing to take your ideas and translate them into new ideas.

It is a whirlwind of amazing.

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If you really just want an expert to do all the work for you, then Deluxe Logo Design is a great option. With Deluxe you have a phone call with a real designer, fill out a questionnaire and give some preliminary ideas. Then in a few days you get around 10 designs to look at.

If you like one, you’re done. Otherwise you use the preview page to inform them which one you like, ask for revisions, give comments, etc. . . And then a few days later you have a completed online logo design in hand.

Unlike the previous 3 where you are deeply involved in the design, with Deluxe the designers are degree’d professionals with many years experience so you don’t have a lot to worry about. And being professionals the designs they come up with are varied to give you a real good shot at making something you’ll love.

I also liked that Deluxe could immediately put your logo on checks and other personalized products. . . if that doesn’t jog your memory then perhaps I should remind you that Deluxe is the company that’s likely been printing your checks for years. You’ve seen their ads in print publications for decades.

The downside to Deluxe, which may not be a downside to you at all, is that Deluxe is a bit old school. They want to have a real conversation with you about your design needs before they start. I kinda wanted to fill out a quick form and be on my way. I certainly do appreciate have spoken to someone directly and am sure the logo design we got is much better because of it.

I sometimes like my “microwave culture” and want to just press an anonymous button.

Befuddled

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Target, Spotify, Lily Pulitzer, Tinder, Instagram, Dropbox, Google in France, Google URl’s, and feet on the New York Post. All the tech, social media and blog headlines that Bloggers love, need and use everyday.

Continue reading “Befuddled”

Consumer Buying Process: Messaging Makes all the Difference

I always enjoy “analyzing” the consumer buying process in different industries. For instance it doesn’t take much effort to sell a candy bar at the grocery store checkout. But it takes a heck of a lot of work to get a country to buy a Boeing 747.

This past week I met with both an insurance guy and a financial services guy (sales calls basically). I don’t need either, and imagine a great number of their appointments are with people who don’t want to change insurance or need a new money manager. But they make sales – so how does that work? And can we translate that to the web?

According to the financial services guy, there’s no way to makes sales in the financial services sector without first establishing a personal relationship with the clients, basically over coffee to start. In his mind even when people are shopping for what you have, unless you have a relationship with them they’re not doing business with you. The insurance guy felt the same way. Continue reading “Consumer Buying Process: Messaging Makes all the Difference”

Surveys aid the buying process

I recently read an article over at Alejandro Reyes’s website (which you can see here) where he published the results of a survey his readers took. I thought what he learned from his readers would be quite germane to your business.

He asked his audience three questions:

  • What kind of content do you want to see in 2011 on AlejandroReyes.com?
  • What format do you like best?
  • How can I help you best in 2011 to become more successful?

If you can’t identify with those questions because it sounds like a website owner asked them, have you ever had a customer request something? If you’re a hair dresser, has anyone ever asked you what kinds of foods promote shiny hair? If you’re a hardware store owner, has anyone ever asked you if you do workshops? Why not ask them by e-mail what kinds of things you can do to make their experience better – and how they’d like you to do it. I’m sure you can think of three questions.

What Alejandro learned will certainly make his business better over the course of 2011. His readers said they’d be interested in hearing how other successful entrepreneurs became successful. That was great for Alejandro because he loves doing success interviews. I bet your customers, if you’re a hardware store owner, would love to see what other successful “birding” folks are doing to attract bluebirds or cardinals to their feeders.  Ask your customers what you can provide.

Alejandro also learned that his customer prefer blog posts and video over podcasts. Wouldn’t that be nice to know? Would it be great to know that your real estate clients would much rather attend open houses on Thursday evening from 5 – 7 than Sunday from 2 – 4? How would that change your business?

Your customers have already researched what they need to know about your products. They’ve decided your place of business serves their needs, and many of them are repeat buyers (meaning they’ve overcome any buyer’s remorse). Your job now is to become a more staple expert in their mind and expand the services you can provide to them.

The only ways you can make more money is to get customers to buy more or get more customers. In the case of the survey, you have a prime opportunity to provide more value in exchange for money.

Surveying your customers is extremely easy on-line. There are many, many free polling and survey services you can use. To get people to take a survey, put the link in the footer of your e-mail signature. Send a postcard with a link to the survey.  Add the survey to your website home page. E-mail your customers and ask them to take it. Or even ask them in-store.

Surveys will not only make your relationship with your customers tighter and give you opportunities to meet their needs, but will also start a conversation with your customers that you can continue by e-mail all year long. So don’t forget to ask for their name and e-mail – then you can really serve their needs.

What are your thoughts on surveys? Why haven’t you done them yet? Some people are afraid it will annoy their customers. Do you feel that way and why? I’m interested in your thoughts so leave a comment below.

The Buying Process – Writing Ads for your Audience

So, I’ve written quite a bit about the buying process lately. I think that’s mainly because marketers don’t always understand. For instance if you’re an affiliate marketer and you write an ad that says:

    Nikon 30D Camera
    Lowest Price on the Nikon 30D
    No registration required

Now, suppose you write that ad because you’ve become an affiliate of a camera website and the Nikon is a popular camera. Does it make any sense to send that person to a landing page with a title like:

    Nikon 30D vs the new Canon SLR

NO! It doesn’t. Do you know why? It doesn’t make sense because the person who clicks on your ad (based on what you wrote) is beyond comparing features in their buying process. They want to be taken to the page that shows the price and the “BUY NOW” button. Anything less than that and you’re wasting your money on ads.

And speaking of how you write your ads, make sure you spend some time testing what’s written. A poorly written ad won’t get you anywhere (well, maybe you’ll get a spot in this blog) 🙂

Here’s an example of a poorly written (from a non-native English speaker, most likely), and highly humorous ad – just for fun. I got it in my spam e-mail folder today:

Christmas, Happy!
Hey, what are you doing lately? I’d like to present to you a very good company that I knew.
Its home page company: www.Ele-sky.com
If you have any needs, please contact the company Email.
They can offer all kinds of electronic products that you need, such as motorcycles, laptops, mobile phones, digial cameras, , x box, ps3, GPS, MP3 / 4, etc. Please take time to look at that there must be something you’d like to purchase.
Hope you have a good state of mind in buying your company!
Regards

Please check out these posts on the Buying Process as well:

enjoy!

Internet Marketing: Do You Know the Steps of the Buying Process?

I recently read Todd Brown’s Article on “the Greatest Marketing Lesson”, which I thought useful, and it made me think about reiterating this important lesson to go along with it.

Todd actually wrote about a concept he learned from Eugene Schwartz regarding the “level of sophistication” your audience has achieved and how to tailor your marketing to that. When you’re finished reading this post, go read Todd’s. Continue reading “Internet Marketing: Do You Know the Steps of the Buying Process?”

Use Surveys to Take Action

It’s always in the back of our mind, “I should be surveying my audience”. We all think it and wish we were doing it. And then some of us actually do it (which makes the rest of us start thinking about it again).

But when have you seen the results of a survey? I’m not talking about the graph or chart that shows how many people picked A on Question 2. I’m talking about a change in direction. When have you seen someone take action because of the answers to a survey?

Most likely. . . never . . . or it was something tiny.

That’s because there aren’t too many people teaching surveys. So today, let’s do just that.

Getting Started

In an ideal world you could publish a 100 question survey that didn’t box people into choosing A, B or C. You could ask questions that open up entire realms you hadn’t considered. Then you could put together a team to analyze the answers, devise an action plan, implement it and track if it worked.

But we don’t live in an ideal world. It’s pretty hard to get people to fill out one survey, let alone answer 100 questions. And then to find the time to analyze 1,000 different answers. . . I could only dream of having that kind of fun with my audience.

Nope. Time and purpose are linked and thus we must be more deliberate with our time.

The Action Plan: Survey Questions

A smart survey has a point to it. That point is action. If you’re going to ‘bother’ your audience to garner information, make sure it is information you can take action upon.

To make sure you’re doing this, you need to spend time writing an action plan based on the replies you could get back. For instance if you ask “Are you a stay-at-home parent?”, then you need a plan that says

  • “If only 10% indicate they stay home, I will refocus my content this way”.
  • “If it is 50/50, I will change x, y, and z”.
  • “If the respondents are 75% stay-at-home, I will stop doing m, n and p”.

If you can’t think of a single change you would make or action you would take, then don’t ask that question. Maybe none of the demographic questions would alter your strategy – if that’s the case then skip them all.

You really want to narrow down the # of questions to as few as possible. Narrow, narrow, narrow the focus and your readers will feel they are more valuable to you and part of the solution.

And remember Google Analytics can tell you a lot about your site and how people navigate it. Don’t ask questions of your audience if you already have the answer somewhere else. Figure out the holes in your analytics – and ask those questions.

The Right Survey Software

It’s important to have a robust survey package. You need one that will allow you to branch out after each question. For instance if the first actionable question is the stay at home question, then you will want to ask the people who said “yes” different questions about the future of your blog content than the people who said “no”.

If you serve parents and you spend a good deal of time talking about child care options, separating the opinions of the stay-at-home parents from the employee parents will help you decide how to frame future content to improve reader engagement.

(Think about this, if I told you that the only people who have signed up on your email list are stay-at-home parents, and told you that conversely 75% of your readers are employee parents, what would you do?)

So make sure you use software that can ask separate questions depending on how you answered the previous one. By the way, I recommend SurveyMonkey – it does that.

The Survey Funnel

If one of your questions is “Do you own any of my ebooks?”, then the ensuing questions would be much different for the people who do than the people who don’t. Imagine 50 people saying “no” and 50 people saying “yes” and having the next question say “Was it helpful?”. (Now 50 people are annoyed)

Before you write the survey, build a funnel on paper and ask yourself at each step, “what would I do if learned this from my audience today?” And what do I want to know of the people who say yes vs no? Hold their hand as you walk them down a path learning what you need to learn to take action and improve your site.

It should really only take 4 or 5 questions to learn good, meaningful information. But first you must plan it out – along with the actions you will take depending on the answers.

What type of Questions

In a package like Survey Monkey, the multiple choice answers dictate which questions they answer next. So ask multiple choice questions, but always include a space to leave comments. You don’t want to box people in if they have something to say.

Once your survey has divided your audience into the groups you feel you can learn from, ask them a final essay question to really learn what action you need to take. In the photo (see above) you can see that there are a total of 20 questions, but no one has to answer more than 5 to get to the end.

Sometimes it is appropriate to ask everyone the same essay question at the end. Then you can compare the answers from one group to the next, which can really supercharge your action plan, can narrow your target market and can increase your income.

Finally, when they’ve answered the last question make sure you take them to a “thank you” page. You can use that page to give away your ebook, have them sign up for your newsletter or give them a link to an article that will make their day brighter. Don’t miss that opportunity to do something nice for them. They just finished doing something nice for you.

Dan R Morris

Make Products Guaranteed to Sell

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So there’s a great way to make your own products without worrying about whether they’re going to sell or not.  In fact you could say there is a 100% foolproof way to figure out what your audience will buy.

The first thing you need to know is that people don’t buy products – they buy labels, titles and headlines. In fact, most people don’t look through the Table of Contents on Amazon before they buy the book.

They base their purchase on referral and the title. Continue reading “Make Products Guaranteed to Sell”

Internet and DR Marketing: Do You Know Your Audience’s Level of Sophistication?

Eugene Schwartz, the guy who revolutionized direct response marketing – the guy who didn’t get paid enough for his copywriting skills – the genius of marketing, broke down this very important lesson.

As I reference in my previous post about understanding the buying process of your audience, it is also important to understand their level of sophistication. Continue reading “Internet and DR Marketing: Do You Know Your Audience’s Level of Sophistication?”