Creating Graphics for Business Growth by J.R. Atkins MBA

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Creating Graphics for Business Growth by J.R. Atkins MBA

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As someone delivering Social Media, Websites and Online Marketing, I find myself in need of creative graphics on a regular basis and I have found some resources you might what to check out.

1. JRA Visme ProjectVisme: Think of Visme as a perfect marriage between Microsoft PowerPoint and Adobe InDesign; ease of use meets professional design. Their clean graphic website will walk you through the three easy steps to create your first graphic image and includes a nice short video to help you get started. Use the Visme tool set to create:

  • Infographics
  • Presentations
  • Charts & Graphs
  • Web Banners
  • Animations
  • And more

The free version allows you to create 3 projects and is a great way to check it out. If you like it and want to upgrade, the Standard Plan is $4.50 per month and the Complete Plan is $14.25 per month, no too much when you consider the competition.  I’m hoping they will preformatted projects for cover images for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ as I am tasked to create these often. Below is a sample project I created in less than five minutes. Let me know how Visme works for you.

2. Fivver: If you are more into outsources than “DYI” then check out Fivver. You hire someone to do you graphic for you at very low prices, like $5.00. The prices goes up as you add requirements but you still can get graphics delivered in a few days for less than $50.00. Again, not to bad when you consider other alternatives. Here is a recent example from Fivver that ran me $5.00 and took 4 days to complete.

Social Mead posting by J.R. Atkins 

 

3. Design Class: Most class work in design requires the student to create projects for real companies. Most will have a digital portfolio to show you how their skills and talents are developing. Why not let your brand benefit from the bright minds of tomorrow’s professional designers. Just Google “InDesign Classes” in your area then contact the instructor about student projects with your organization.

This example Portfolio is from Ashley Denton at Texas State, San Marcos, TX

 Ashley Denton recommended by J.R. Atkins

Events Worth Considering

Travel with J.R. Atkins to Holy sites

 


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Discussing E-Myth Principles: Alzay Calhoun & J.R. Atkins

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Discussing E-Myth Principles

Alzay Calhoun interviews J.R. AtkinsIn the book, The E Myth, Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can interrupt a business. I found it to be a mind-altering book (in a good way) about how to grow your business in a predictable and productive way. I recommend this book as often as I can.

Listen below to an interview I did with J.R. Atkins who leads a LinkedIn group focused on E Myth principles. In the interview he shares with me his insights on E Myth strategy, what makes his group good to join, and how to get the most of out group membership. Enjoy!

 

Would you like to know more about the E Myth?

Download access to a video and slideshow summary here:

–>Click for access to E-Myth video and slideshow summary<–

Here is a quick snapshot of some of the questions covered:

– When did you start your forum/group, and why did you create it?

– What do you feel makes your community special?

– If you could magically give all of your community members one thing in this world, what would it be, and why?

– If you could ask your group members one thing and get an answer from all of them, what would that question be?

– What are some of the hot topics that seem to always be discussed within the group?

– For someone new to this community, how do they get the most out of it?

– Has anything surprised you about owning a forum about [niche]?

Would you like to know more about the E Myth?

Download access to a video and slideshow summary here:
–>Click for access to E-Myth video and slideshow summary<–

You can join the J.R.’s LinkedIn Group “The E Myth Connection” by clicking here – join the group

If you want to purchase Michael Gerber’s book you can do so here – buy the book (I believe E-Myth Revisited is the better option)

Have you read the E Myth? What did you like most? What did you like least? Leave your comment below.


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The 25 Best CRM Apps

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A friend shared this article on CRM Apps – Customer Relationship Management Apps and I thought I’d share it here for my readers and clients.top CRM solutions with J.R. Atkins Click on a category below to learn more about the strengths of those CRMs or jump to an app directly by clicking its name.

Link to the original article: https://zapier.com/blog/best-crm-app/


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Good Drinks, Good Food, Good Night

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J.R. Atkins reviews Hotel Indigo Waco“I wish we had something like this in Gatesville, I’d hang out here all the time.” These were the first words I spoke to my wife as we entered the Hotel Indigo in Waco.

I like the open air lobby as it has a sense of a “community room” to it. The check-in desk is small and off to the left of the room rather than the standard front and center. Off to the right is an informal sitting area and meeting rooms, in the center is the lounge and restaurant area; very inviting.

We took a seat in comfortable chairs at the low bar and were greeted by a wonderful bartender mixing superb drinks. The wine offering is a step up from your typical hotel wine selection offering unique Texas wines and other good choices.
We were then greeted by the hotel manager and given the grand tour. I found the “Huaco” meeting room to be ideal for large gatherings with its upgraded audio visual system suitable to simulcast events like TED talks, game viewing and corporate presentations. While the “Judge Waco” meeting room is ideal for smaller board style meetings and presentations.

The guest rooms are very contemporary with bamboo flooring, luxury showers, designer bedding and the best pillow top beds in town. Oh yeah, fJ,R, Atkins Selfieree internet too.

The pool area is very nice for a little rest and relaxation with a portion of the pool indoors for inclement weather, hot tub included. There is also enough patio room to host your poolside reception.

Our biggest surprise of the night was the menu and taste of the food. Who would have thought that a cafe sized lounge and restaurant would produce such an exquisite dining experience. We were served fresh salad, steak and vegetables, then cheese cake and coffee for dessert. It was the best steak I had had in months.Hotel Indigo Review by J.R. Atkins

 
Yes, the facilities at the Hotel Indigo Waco are very well designed and inviting, but what would a grand hotel experience be without a fine staff? From the front desk staff, to our wait staff, to the bartender, we were charmed and received excellent, personal service. This hotel could be in uptown Dallas, on Westheimer in Houston or on 6th Street in Austin and do very well. It’s a touch of elegance and class in the heart of Texas.

Disclaimer: Our dinner and drinks were provided by the Hotel Indigo Waco.

Hotel Indigo Review

J.R. Atkins reviews dinner at Hotel Indigo   Review of Hotel Indigo desert by J.R. Atkins


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Elements of a Good Facebook Graphic

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I have been recommending Info-Graphics and Professional Graphics to my clients and this one from “The Bean Cast” is a great example.Bob Norpp

  • Note the “interesting graphic” with color and images that “pop” and get your attention.
  • See the company logo
  • The picture of Bob Norpp the Bean Cast Host
  • The easy to read name “Bean Cast”
  • The Brand explained “marketing podcast.

These are all components of a good graphic you might post on social media.

 

Let me know if you are using graphic images to attract more attention on your social media sites.


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How Our Beliefs Affect Our Business

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J.R. Atkins writes on beliefs and businessRelating to June’s newsletter/blog topic of Continuing Education, I have been considering how we form our beliefs and how our beliefs affect our business. For example, have you ever run across someone that operates from the belief of “I’ll screw you before you screw me?” Or, how about someone who has an abundance mentality of “win-win” or “there is enough here for all of us?” Let’s look at the ways we develop our beliefs.

One – Our Home: Think of the times when you have heard your parent’s words rolling off your tongue. This is just one easy example of the profound affect our upbringing has on us. This is also why getting away from home and family can help us develop whether it is time in college, the military, or traveling abroad. When we step out of our home environment, we get to examine our beliefs, habits and culture.J.R. Atkins advocates education and training

Two – Education and Training: As we listen, read, discuss and write about new beliefs, information and culture, we tend to expand our own beliefs. We gain a new perspective. Have you ever heard someone say “I never thought of it that way?” That’s exactly the idea. When we receive training on new tools, exercises, theories, techniques … we alter and expand our beliefs. Education can include church, clubs, professional associations, and athletics.

People influence our beliefsThree – Experience: As time goes on, we collect experiences that are converted to beliefs, habits and mental patterns. Abraham Maslow studied reactions in dogs to see if he changed the stimulus, would the response change. We too are much like the dogs in his research. Yet, unlike the dogs, we have the capacity and ability to choose to change. Humans are more than the accumulation of their life experiences. Yet, our life experiences are a major influence on our beliefs. If every time we have asked for a raise, we have been told no, then we might quit asking.

Another strong influence on experience are the people around us: family, friends, bar tenders, doctors, teachers, pastors, work associates, club members… all affect how we see ourselves and our beliefs. When we change the people around us, we change. It’s funny how that works.

In closing I challenge you to think about how your beliefs have been formed and how they are contributing to your life and business success. How are your personal beliefs contributing to the culture of your organization? If you could make a change in the culture of your workplace what would it be? Can you trace it back to a specific belief or set of beliefs?

Good luck in growing your business. I hope that this article has encouraged you in some way. Please let me know your thoughts by responding by email, social media, or to this article on my blog.

Events worth considering (updated)

donate to the academy for spiritual formation07/21/14 – Academy for Spiritual Formation, San Antonio, TX
07/24/14 – Pharmacy on a Bicycle, Dallas, TX
07/30/14 – CBA Ribbon Cutting, Belton, TX

08/06/14 – Film Screening – Wadjda, Plano, TX
08/07/14 – Walking with Palestinian Christians, Tipp City, OH
08/12/14 – The Culture Map … International Business, Dallas, TX
08/14/14 – How to Systemize Your Biz, Webinar
08/19/14 – SDC Ribbon Cutting at Harker Heights Chamber, Harker Heights, TX
08/19/14 – Selling in the Digital Age, Temple College, Temple, TX
08/22/14 – Using Facebook & Video to Grow your Biz, Temple, TX
08/23/14 – Sailing Class: Basic Keel Boat, Lake Belton Yacht Club, TX
08/26/14 – Big 5+1 of Social Media, Harker Heights, TX
08/28/14 – Film Screening: Dancing in Jaffa, Belton, TX

09/02/14 – Small Biz Selling in the Digital Age, Temple College, TX
09/05/14 – The Governors Small Biz Forum, Belton, TX
09/13/14 – Spurfest, Gatesville, TX
09/16/14 – Facebook for Holiday Results, Harker Heights, TX
09/18/14 – Growing Your Biz with Facebook, Framers Branch, TX
09/24/14 – Leadership Institute, Leawood, KS

10/07/14 – Social Media for Business Growth, Temple College, Temple TX
10/16/14 – Building LinkedIn for Biz, Farmers Branch, TX
10/21/14 –Managing your Social Media, Harker Heights, TX

11/04/14 – Small Biz Marketing for Growth, Temple College, Temple TX
11/08/14 – Caribbean Sailing Trip, Tortola, BVI (room for 4 more)
11/20/14 – Google+ for Business, Farmers Branch, TX


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The Value of Continuing Education by J.R. Atkins

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If you consider yourself even somewhat successful in life, then you probably have an appreciation for continuing education. It does not matter if your education was attained in an artisan fashion through an apprenticeship program or if you hold a PhD from a prestigious university. Once we reach a level of skill and knowledge and begin to apply it, we find there is more to know. Some professions require CE units to continue one’s eligibility to practice their craft. For the rest of us, we are left to find our own way.

As I reflect on the past few years of growth and continuing education, I find that I receive this education in the follow ways:

  1. J.R. Atkins likes Duct Tape SellingConversations – With people with different perspectives, different backgrounds and life experiences, and often smarter than me. The DFW World Affairs Council is a good place for this.
  2. Books – Both fiction and non-fiction, especially about growing companies, new technology, and suspense thrillers. Two recent reads are Duct Tape Selling and Tribal Leadership.
  3. Workshops – Anything from a 30 minute Webinar to a full day with an expert, often about new products or businesses, such as my client, Financial Halo and their Prescriptions at Cost Program.
  4. Conferences – South by Southwest interactive (SXSWi) is one of my favorites, but I also attend world affairs related conferences such as “Walking with Palestinian Christians” in Tipp City Ohio.
  5. Structured Course Work – Self-study or guided by an expert such as the Academy for Spiritual Formation a 2 year course that meets each quarter for a week at a retreat center.

 

I also see a trend in the types and topics of continuing education:Prescription Medications at cost

  1. Industry Knowledge – skills, regulations, new developments
  2. Self-Improvement – Being vs. Doing
  3. Skill Development – WordPress, Public Speaking, Patience, Writing
  4. Spiritual Development – Prayer, Giving, Mission work
  5. Financial Development – Reducing expenses and increasing wealthJ.R Atkins needs your suppot to attend the Academy
  6. Management – New trends, Leading Projects, Online Management Tools
  7. Leadership – Beyond setting an example and motivating to help people attain their potential

 

As for frequency, I usually attend at least on big conference each year where I travel away from my local area and spend 2-5 days in a hotel thinking, learning, writing, planning and growing.

What about you? What kind of continuing education do you attend and how often? What would you say is the best source of development for you? I’d appreciate you sharing your experience and ideas on the blog so others can see, but any communication method that is good for you is good for me.

P.S. Note that I have two locations now:

North Texas Location: 8745 Gary Burns Dr # 160-210, Frisco, TX 75034J.R. & Stacey Lead a Ministry now

Central Texas Location: 1105 Bridge St, Gatesville, TX 76528

And my wife and I have started a ministry for spiritual growth called Something Different Ministries.

Events worth considering

 


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Why did the Publicis-Omnicom Merger Die?

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According to Wikipedia, here is a list of the 10 largest Ad agencies as of July 2013

  1. WPP GroupLondon $15.6 billion
  2. Omnicom GroupNew York City $14.3 billion
  3. Publicis GroupeParis $7.7 billion
  4. Interpublic GroupNew York City $6.693 billion
  5. DentsuTokyo $3.1 billion
  6. HavasSuresnes, France 1.77 billion euros
  7. Hakuhodo DY HoldingsTokyo 1.2 trillion yen
  8. MerkleLanham, Maryland, $300 million
  9. Global Experience Specialists, subsidiary of Viad, $249.3 million
  10. Epsilon, subsidiary of Alliance Data

 

What would cause the #2 and #3 to want to merge? To take on #1? What would cause them to back out of the merger? It’s been long enough since the the decision to Not merge was made that many arm chair executives are weighing in on the reasons why and why not. If you did not see the Ad Age article I have include the Link and the first part of the article below.

Ad Week Article

It started in February of last year when John Wren visited Publicis Groupe and admired the company’s stunning Champs Élysées view. Maurice Lévy, CEO of the French agency giant, was quick to say that it could belong to the Omnicom chief. That “joke,” as Lévy later called it, led to a proposal to combine advertising’s second- and third-largest players to create a $24 billion colossus to unseat leader WPP, creating unprecedented industry scale.

Nine months and nearly $100 million in professional fees later, no one’s laughing at the punch line now delivered by two of the industry’s top executives, who killed their history-making merger Thursday.

It’s not just about losing face after a highly publicized effort to reshape the advertising landscape. The ease with which the two are walking away from the deal begs the question of the very rationale supporting its initial concept. Both parties now call the transaction an “opportunity,” not a “necessity.” Nonetheless, during the process each side revealed a weakness in praising the other’s strength: for Omnicom, it was Publicis’ digital resources and for Publicis, Omnicom’s creative assets. Officially, the complexities in attaining U.K. tax domicile and regulatory approvals, and subsequent transaction closing delays, are blamed for the deal’s collapse. But insiders insist the lack of consensus about management structure and top personnel decisions are the real reason, something even Omnicom’s Wren hints at.


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What is “Duct Tape Selling” about?

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J.R. Atkins likes Duct Tape SellingSelling is changing! Or more like, Selling has changed! Once upon a time the sales person offered insight and information about products and services that could be found nowhere else. Not true anymore. Between Social Media, Websites, John Jantsch, and other online tools, the buyer has all the information of the world at their fingertips.

In his book, Duct Tape Selling, John Jantsch offers the solution to selling in today’s information overload environment. “With social networks such as LinkedIn, the sales person may have a relationship with a prospect before the prospect knows he or she has a need” says John. When sales people do a good job of using social media, the content they share positions them as a subject matter expert and a resource for the prospect. This requires a tighter integration between the Sales and Marketing teams.

The Marketing Team is usually responsible for developing content. Instead or in addition to publishing content through mass media, they can share it via the Sales Team’s social media channels for a more personal approach. This also creates the opportunity for a prospect to respond directly to the sales person via the social media channels.

According to John, “this approach to sales and marketing requires a shift in company culture and a possible change to the compensation model.” The company needs to see the sales team as an extension of the marketing department as well the source of sales. The sales person’s online reputation requires time to build and may not match up with short term sales goals based on an “old school” cold call, knocking-on-doors model. “Prospects are too sophisticated for the old approach” says John.

I hope this short article has caused you to consider how you and your company are using social media to create more sales results. Duct Tape Selling is available on Amazon and look for John Jantsch speaking in your local community.


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What the heck does Snow Fall have to do with story telling?

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18 Months after the New York Times published a story about an avalanche in Stevens Pass, in Skykomish, Washington, viewers are still raving about how this story represents the future of story telling, of eBooks, of writing in the digital world.

If you have not seen it, you need to check it out. The “news article” combines well written prose, video clips, pictures and Google Earth type imagery to immerse the reader into the story. And, it works. You feel like you are there. The credit for this great example of modern journalism goes to John Branch.

Follow this link or Google NY Times Snow Fall and you will see all the supporting articles and blogs that have been written following the release of the original article on December  20, 2012. I hope I write an article this well that gets this much exposure and acclaim some day. John won a Pulitzer Prize for his work. Well done.

J.R. Atkins recommends the NY time article snow fall


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