Jeremy Harrison - Spire Advertising, Inc

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Jeremy Harrison

Jeremy is President & Founder of Spire Advertising, Inc. a marketing and web design agency focused on helping small businesses and non-profits succeed. Located in Ashland, Ohio, Spire’s purpose is empowering small business success that transforms communities.

Jeremy's Blogs

Spire is #1 for "Ohio Website Design" in Google's 10-Pack

I've been kind-of quiet about our ranking up until now, because I thought it was a fluke. What I found is great news for small local businesses who think they can't compete on the search engines.
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Spire CMS v2.0 Can Make Your Website More Search Engine Friendly

If you're an existing Spire customer, you know how powerful and easy to use our Content Management system is. However, we haven’t been resting on our laurels...
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10 Reasons Spire is the Best Choice for Your Website Design

Want to know what makes us different? Check out this list of 10 things that make us your best choice for a website design.
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How to double your revenue with email auto-responders

Imagine if you could walk up to the prospective customers who are looking at your company's website and ask if they're ready to buy. What would they tell you? In fact, if you asked every website visitor -- how many do you think would be ready to buy your products or services right now... today... right on the spot? If you're selling expensive products or services, it's probably no more than 3%. So what are you going to do with the 97% who "walk out" of your "online store" without making a decision to buy?
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First Blog Post

Hello! My name is Jeremy Harrison. Welcome to my new blog! My role at Spire (aside from the normal things that go along with owning a business) is helping small business owners improve their marketing effectiveness.
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Did you receive our postcard? This blog post is for you...

If you are a member of the Ashland or Mansfield Chamber of Commerce, you will be receiving our new postcard sometime this week...
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Archway Cookies Closing Hits Home - Let's Keep Ashland Someplace Special

My prayers go out to the families affected by the recent closing of Archway Cookies. I’d like to issue a challenge to my neighbors here in Ashland. I believe there are more than enough talented, hard-working people in this area to create more jobs than our community has ever seen. The secret to creating those jobs...
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New Landing Page Design Should Increase Sales for Our Client

We've been working with the inventor of a North Carolina-based golf swing trainer since we designed & launched his website last Spring.We started assisting with marketing strategy late this summer, and while we had some early challenges, a lot of good things are finally starting to come together. Here's what we're doing:
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Getting things done with Google Apps, Jott & Salesforce.com

Our business has grown quickly over the past 18 months. One challenge has been finding the right system for email, schedules, to-dos and new business leads to handle our growth and keep things organized.Here's what we've done so far to get organized, and what I'm looking at to make the system better.
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Snow Trails' new website helps create buzz for opening day

Snow Trails Ski Resort opened this weekend for the first time in the 2008-2009 season. It was great to see how they used their new website to promote the opening weekend.Spire launched their new website on November 6. In just five weeks since the launch, the new website has hosted nearly 50,000 visitors, and more than 500,000 pages viewed.
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Update on Archway Cookies

In October I blogged about some bad news -- the sudden closing of Archway Cookies here in Ashland Ohio.Late last week we learned that Lance Inc. -- the Charlotte-based company who bought the assets of Archway Cookies -- will be reopening Archway cookies.
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Beware of this search engine optimization rip-off...

One of our SEO clients forwarded me an email they received from "Global Vibrations Inc" in Washington DC. Here's an excerpt...
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Want to sell more products & services? Use photos & video.

I recently met with a prospective client who I'd never met. When I walked in the room, they said -- "I know who you are -- I saw your photo on your website." Yet when I described the powerful Content Management System that we have to give customers complete control over their content, this prospect didn't realize we offered that, even though I talk about it quite a bit on our website.I don't fault this person at all. It simply reminded me that many people are visual learners...
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Our new SpireCMS video demo is now online

As promised yesterday, the new SpireCMS video demo is now complete. I've included a small-window version below, or you can click here to view it in a larger window.
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A Brilliant Marketing Lesson from a Christmas Tree Farm

Most folks know that to get more revenue out of their customers, they should sell add-on products. However, some well-crafted add-on products not only give you more revenue at the time of the sale -- they practically GUARANTEE that you will get more repeat business.Here\'s a perfect example.
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The Ultimate Remedy for a Bad Case of the Recession

I just finished a new postcard that will be released next week in response to the recession. The headline matches the blog title. The ad copy says the following...
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Chevy Silverado's "Man Step" Ad Turns Ford's New Feature on its Head

If just one of the big 3 automakers would make it through this economic mess, it would be Ford, in my opinion. That said, I got a chuckle out of a Chevy Silverado commercial I saw today. It was targeted at Ford F-150.
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A tale of two Super Bowl Ads

The most effective Super Bowl ad this year was, in my opinion Google's ad called "Parisian Love." It was so simple that anybody could have created it with their computer. Yet it told a clear story, demonstrated their product, and pulled at the heart strings of viewers. Well done Google, well done.
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New Google AdWords Tool for adding quotes and brackets to your keywords

If you do pay-per-click campaigns, you probably know that one best practice is to add brackets and quotes to your keyword list - which makes them a phrase match or exact match. It's simple, but repetitive and time-consuming to do that by hand -- especially if you have hundreds of keywords for each ad group as I do. Here's a simple tool my team just created to help me convert my keyword lists on the fly.
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Are You Paying a Monthly Fee to List Your Business on Some Website? Read This.

Bottom line, if you are paying one or more monthly fees to have a listing on somebody else's website, please consider the three powerful alternatives explained here.
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The Best Advertising Investment in a Recession

In a recession, consumers are less impulsive, so your business needs to find new ways to reach your customers. AdWords offers a simple way to do so that won't empty your wallet.
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What is Twitter?

Question: "So what is twitter, I signed up tonight, is it just a spin off of myspace and facebook but with a business twist?"
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Spire's New Web Design Postcard Hit Mailboxes This Week

Our new postcard hit mailboxes this week - discussing how we can help businesses generate businesses in the recession without spending a fortune on advertising. The postcard is below. We also invited recipients to watch our free video on recession marketing strategies, available here.
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Getting Things Done with Google Apps: 6 months later

In November I wrote about my system for getting things done. Now, 6 months later it's time to review successes & failures of the system I talked about. Some of the things I was doing worked very well, and have become a permanent part of my organization system. Other parts haven't worked as well as I'd hoped. Let me review both.
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What do people see when they "Google" Your Name?

Has your name been "Googled" recently? I bet it has - whether you realize it or not.Now you can control what people see, by setting up your own Google Profile. Like a scaled-down Facebook page, Google's profile gives you a chance to enter some basic information about yourself, add photos, schools you attended and a few other things.
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Do you know what are people saying about your company on social networks?

Do you know what people are saying about your company? The rapid growth of social networking has both simplified and complicated things all at the same time.Our only challenge used to be making sure people said positive things about our companies when they talked to their friends.Now we have to keep up with the techno-savvy people too -- the bloggers, reviewers,YouTubers, twitterers, facebookers, and much, much more.
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Billy Mays Leaves a Positive Example for Sales & Marketing Pros

Billy Mays was found dead in his Tampa, FL home Sunday morning, possibly connected to a blow to the head he received the night before onboard a US Airways flight. As a marketing professional, I am saddened by the loss. Mays was a man of character. He gave our profession a positive example, in a field that\'s often overshadowed by manipulative people who will say anything to make a quick buck.
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iPhone 3G: Copy and Paste is Not a Benefit

I'm not sure what Apple marketers are trying to accomplish with one of their new Apple 3G commercials. The ability to copy and paste is not a benefit, or even a feature worth spending 30 seconds promoting on television.
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Spire: The meaning behind our company name

Many people have asked us why we chose the name Spire for our company.While the word "spire" is not frequently used in the United States, you probably already know that it refers to the top of a building that comes to a point. Church steeples are an example of a spire, and you'll see spires on many skyscrapers in major cities around the world. Just as a spire helps a building stand out among a crowd, we do the same thing for the companies we serve.
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Matt Miller to run for Congress in Ohio 16th District

Matt Miller announced today that he will run for Congress. He's seeking the Republican nomination to challenge John Buccieri for the Ohio 16th Congressional District. Matt is a well-respected member of the Ashland community and was an outstanding Ashland County Commissioner. He brings a fresh -- yet conservative perspective to politics.We were honored to have the chance to help Matt make a few revisions to his existing website.
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Get $500 worth of consulting for $75 at our internet marketing seminar in Mansfield

It's official. I'm tag-teaming with my friends at the Mansfield-Richland Area Chamber of Commerce to present an internet marketing seminar at the Mansfield Chamber Conference Room. I'll be presenting three 1-hour presentations on the latest topics like lead generation, online sales, search engine optimization, email marketing & social media.
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The College Graduate's Guide To Finding a Job

When I went to college in the late 90s, there was an attitude among some of my classmates that a college diploma would be like a "golden ticket" to finding a great job. I suppose that was the case at some point, but it surely wasn't true in the late 90s.Today, college graduates are negatively affected more than any other demographic with this economy.
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Google Wave will change everything.

You maybe haven't heard about it yet, but Google is about releasing something that has the potential to once again revolutionize the way we communicate. After thinking through the implications of Google Wave, I believe they are creating something significant. Assuming the initial launch creates no catastrophic problems, the Wave will become Google's most world-altering innovation since email.
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An inside look at our web design marketing funnel

Before starting our advertising & web design company, I worked in a small company that had a traditional "sales department." This group of sales people literally made phone calls all day long. Many were cold calls - and their rate of failure was very, very high. If the company wanted to increase its sales, it could make incremental increases by finding better sales tactics, OR it could hire another sales rep who -- if they worked hard enough -- would earn their keep while bringing in a little extra.I'm sorry, but I just wouldn't be able to do that.I don't like the idea of calling people who weren't expecting my call, and trying to sell them something they didn't ask to buy. That's why effective marketing is so important to grow a business. You still need to do sales, but the approach is different, and the success rate is much higher. I'll explain, but first let me prove my theory from first hand experience.
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Today's Internet Marketing Seminar in Mansfield, Ohio was a success!

We had a full house at this morning's internet marketing seminar in Mansfield! Thanks to the Mansfield Richland Chamber of Commerce for hosting the event and promoting it to their membership.Today's event booked up in under a week and there were more than a dozen people on a waiting list.
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A Christmas greeting from the team at Spire Advertising & Web Design

ElfYourself eCards
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Third, final internet marketing seminar expected to sell out soon

If you haven't heard, we've been leading a series of Internet Marketing seminars in partnership with the Mansfield Area Chamber of Commerce. The first event was December 3 -- it sold out in less than 2 weeks. The second event was January 13 -- it sold out in less than 3 days! The final opportunity to attend will be Thursday, February 4 from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM.
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Spire's new 2010 website design

We've been busy launching new websites for our clients, but finally carved out the time to launch the 2010 edition of the Spire website.
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Dockers Free Pants Super Bowl Ad Backfires - Their Website Can't Keep Up

Planning to promote your company in a Super Bowl commercial? Better make sure your website is ready to handle your offer.
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Spire is hiring another web designer

Spire is hiring. To keep up with growing demand, we want to hire another exceptional web designer.
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SEO: Why Links Matter

Whenever we design a website for a client, we do a lot of search engine optimization work - to help ensure that Google and the other search engines can find the content. However, the structure of the site is only half the battle. Once your site is structured the right way, it's extremely important to get inbound links that point people back to your website.
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Organizing your website content

One of the most important steps of a website design process is determining how you will organize your content. Your goal should be to consolidate your content into no more than 7 top-level navigation sections. Each of these top level sections can have sub-pages... even sub-sub-pages... but even with tens of thousands of pages, you should be able to organize your content into 7 sections or less.
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Ohio Bankers League learns about search engine marketing

Last week I had the chance to present at a marketing seminar sponsored by the Ohio Bankers League in Columbus. The topic was "How to Transform Google Searchers into Customers."
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Bryan Lefelhoc Leaves Clear Channel to Join Spire Advertising

After 18 years with Clear Channel Communications as a sales and marketing executive, Bryan Lefelhoc announced today that he is stepping down. The Ashland resident accepted a marketing consultant position with Spire Advertising, a 4-year-old website design and internet marketing firm in Ashland, Ohio.
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How to get rid of that boring text on your website

Jason Fried recently had an article in Inc Magazine titled "Why is Business Writing So Awful." A great read that I strongly recommend. We design a lot of business websites each month, and too often, the writing provided by the client can be an afterthought... stuff used to fill an empty space on a page.
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A strong recommendation from another Ohio web design company

We received an extremely gracious recommendation from Frank Beier, Jr.. He is the President of Dynamic Webs, LLC, a Findlay Ohio web design company.
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Got an invention? Attend this MAGNET Workshop in Ashland, Ohio

If you have an invention, or are working on developing an innovative idea, this seminar may be of interest to you. "Magnet: Innovation, Product Design & Development
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Our new research reveals 3 costly mistakes 99.6% of small businesses are making with their websites

We just completed a research study and the results were a little frightening. We looked at the websites for hundreds of small businesses in our local area, and checked them on 9 costly mistakes that we tend to see people make on their websites. When looking at 3 of the most costly mistakes, we found that 99.6% of local businesses were making at least 1 of these 3 mistakes.
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Customer Relationships Are Like a Good Marriage

Customer service has some similarities to a marriage. If neglected, the relationship will break down, and communication is critically important. Neither type of relationship is ever easy or perfect. But here is a message I sent to my staff today, pointing out how a good customer service relationship should be similar to a healthy marriage...
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NOW HIRING: Web design employees

Here's your chance to build a stunning design portfolio, learn on the job, and get valuable real-world experience with one of Ohio's top-ranked web design firms.
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Our web design portfolio has 8 new entries

We've been very busy this fall. Every week multiple new websites are going live. We added 8 new sites to our portfolio today, and added a dozen others to the site last month.
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New web designs added to our portfolio, a dozen more on their way

We just found a moment to update the portfolio with several more websites that went live in December. The newest entries include: Ohio Dreams Action Sports Camp,WVMC-FM,Adv
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Why we're dumping iStockPhoto for our stock photography

I've been buying stock photos from iStockPhoto.com for more than 8 years. However, I recently decided to switch to Dreamstime.com as our organization's primary stock photo service. Here are a few reasons I'm dumping iStockPhoto.
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The Luxury Car Imported from Detroit

My favorite commercial from Superbowl XLV - hands down. I don't think much of Chrysler, but their agency did a masterful job repositioning what's a negative opinion of Detroit into an emotionally charged commercial that will sell cars.
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Our Pizza Website Design & Online Ordering was a hit in Las Vegas!

Bryan Lefelhoc & I just got back from Las Vegas. Our mission? To share our new online pizza ordering system at The International Pizza Expo.
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Spire is Celebrating 5 Years of Results!

As we head into another busy month, we pause for a moment to celebrate. Spire just turned 5!
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12 new website design projects added to our portfolio

We've added twelve new designs to our portfolio, a sample of some of the many sites we launched the first 10 weeks of 2011. Check them out by visiting our web design portfolio
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We're hiring! Web Designer (Part-Time or Paid Internship)

Here's your chance to build a stunning design portfolio and get invaluable work experience with one of Ohio's top-ranked web design firms. Spire is searching for another all-star designer to help serve our growing client base.
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Why the Ashland City Schools bond issue makes sense

As a local business owner, and a homeowner in the city of Ashland, I plan to vote "YES" for the bond issue for Ashland City Schools. My wife and I don't have children, but nonetheless I see this as a critically important issue.
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Are you using Facebook or is it using you?

Are you using Facebook? There's a 65% chance that you -- and your future customer -- would say yes. This thing has been like an avalanche -- slowly, steadily steamrolling
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A simple tip for mobile web marketing

Here's an extremely simple example of a pretzel stand using mobile marketing. Every customer who visits their stand has a mobile phone in their pocket.
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Spire gets a web design face lift

Spire has a new website design. Please check out the new site, and let us know what you think!
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How to Go Viral With Your Blog

Just received an email from a customer. He builds decks, and he wrote: I am trying to get my friends to like and share my website.
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Warrior Pizza launches an innovative online pizza ordering system

Warrior Drive-In and Pizza -- a local restaurant in Ontario, Ohio is now taking online orders with an ordering system that rivals the major corporate pizza chains. With "
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How to add the +1 button to your website for Google+

Tonight you'll find a new button at the top of most pages on the Spire website. The Google +1 button will allow people to +1 your pages, which will get shared through th
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4 Under-Utilized Marketing Features of SpireCMS

Today's teaching video is created for Spire customers who already have a website powered by SpireCMS. But for those of you who don't it may be helpful to watch and see what's possible. Enjoy!
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How to Double Your Results with a Marketing Funnel

This week's internet marketing training video explains the concept of a marketing funnel. You'll learn: how to determine if your site is a good fit for a funnel,the 5 components of a marketing funnel, and how to use a funnel to double your results.
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Email Marketing Video: Avoiding the E-FAIL

This latest installment to the Spire Marketing Vault shows 3 email marketing examples and explains why each are ineffective. You'll learn 4 things that make an email effective and see live examples of what to avoid.
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6 new web design projects that raise the bar

People sometimes ask what web design project is our best work of all time. I always tell them that whatever website design we're doing TODAY is our best work! These 6 new designs launched over the past month raise the bar and we're happy to share them with you.
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3 Life Lessons from Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was a revolutionary. Many won't understand the degree to which he impacted our culture until future generations look back and see it more clearly. The person
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Don't blame the economy. Good old days of marketing are over.

There's been a fundamental shift in the way people buy products and services. It affects small businesses and mega-brands alike. Sadly, just about everyone is missing it.
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SEO Cheat Sheet Video Now Available

Here's a video designed to walk you through our popular SEO Cheat Sheet. The free SEO cheat sheet and the video will help you learn about many on-page factors that affect
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5 Relatively Simple Ways to Improve Local Search Results

Today I'm going to share 5 things you can do to improve your visibility in the search engines with local searchers.
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Your Customers Have Forever Changed (Video)

Here's a short excerpt from my presentation at the Spire Customer Training Intensive. I talked about how your customers have changed -- and how it has nothing to do with the economy.
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8 more web design projects added to our portoflio

Over the past 2 months we've been busier than ever, launching many new websites. Here are 8 new website designs that have gone live and are featured in our portoflio.
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7 costly mistakes that paralyze small business websites

Is your website built for results? We found sevent costly mistakes small businesses make with their websites, and according to our study, the average local business is making 6 out of the 7 mistakes.
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Our latest web design projects are now on display!

We couldn't be more excited to add these 7 new projects to our web design portfolio. These projects represent work that go beyond a website. Each project involved our entire team...
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Construction begins on Spire's new office

In April, Spire will be moving to a new, larger office here in Ashland. The construction is underway and we couldn't be more excited. We'll track the progress in this new construction photo album.
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12 days left in office construction project!

Just updated the office construction album with some new photos. Drywall is up, and walls are primed.
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Ashland University Women's Basketball Team Defies the Odds

As an Ashland-area business, we couldn't be more proud of the Ashland University Women's Basketball team. The Eagles faced and defeated a tough Bentley squad 77-62 to advance to the Championship game.
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We've moved. Tips for updating your mailing address.

On March 30, Spire Advertising moved into a brand-new office that has been a great upgrade for our growing team.
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Help Spire support the National Guard in May!

For every website design or re-design ordered by a Richland County business in May, Spire will make a donation to support airmen and soldiers and their families who are members of the Guard units based in Richland County.
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How to Get Started with a Blog

Saying that you're going to write "something" every Friday is destined to fail. You need to start with some planning to figure out what you're going to say, and when. This is where an editorial calendar can help. 


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First impressions using Pinterest...

Today I FINALLY setup my page on As I knew already, the Pinterest userbase is dominated by females. I knew it was used primarily by women, but I was struck by just how
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Video: Multiplying Website Traffic with Archived Content

Have you ever written content on your website and wondered if anybody is actually looking at it? This video will show you a mistake that 86% of businesses make. Fix it on your website, and you could see a significant increase in traffic. This video will show you how it works.
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Creating Valuable Landing Pages that Compel Visitors to Act

This morning I was teaching a seminar, and I was showing examples of landing pages where companies offer something of value in exchange for a name and email address.
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Optimizing Your Website for Local Google Searchers

Are your customers local? Is the majority of your audience within a certain driving distance of your place(s) of business? Locally-focused businesses have never had more leverage in search engines like Google.
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An interview with a local blogger who knows his stuff.

In early November I taught a seminar on social media and blogging at the Ashland Chamber Business Expo. The session included an interview with a "virtual guest" -- Jon Nicol.
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How One Snowball Brought 9,000 Visitors To My Website...

Three winters ago, I sat down at my desk to write a blog post. I had a million things to do, and it felt like a waste of time. After days of setting it aside to do other things that were more urgent, I finally finished it and stuck it on the website.
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Do You Want Short-Term Patches or Long-Term Sustenance?

If given the choice, would you take $10,000 today, or $500/month for the rest of your life? While logic tells us to take the ongoing payments -- studies have consistently shown that most people are prone to take what they can get RIGHT NOW, ignoring the added long-term benefits that come from waiting.
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Test Posted on February 7 at 6:38 PM EST

this is a test post
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Google Remarketing: It Works, Even When it Doesn't.

In a session at our last Spire Customer Training Intensive, I showed customers how a new under-utilized strategy in the Google Display Network called Remarketing could be beneficial, even for smaller businesses with small budgets. I'm not going to re-hash my presentation here, but this video shows the results of a short, very small experiment we did on this website.
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Facebook Graph Search: A Marketing Gem, Albeit Creepy

Last month, Facebook announced a new feature called "Graph Search." You'll see it on your Facebook page soon. There's already a lot of info out there about the new Graph Search. But it's the features hidden under the surface that has great potential for marketers.
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Spire is Hiring Spring/Summer Programming Paid Internship

The lead programmer at Spire is seeking a skilled student (probably a computer science major) with experience in programming for a Spring / Summer Paid Internship opportunity here at Spire's headquarters
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Two Customer Training Intensives are Better than One...

Our next Customer Training Intensive is scheduled for April. And as we were putting it together, we were inspired to offer two completely separate events, for two different groups of customers.
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2 Workshops in 2 Days

On Thursday and Friday, we offered two all-day workshops for some of our Spire customers.
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How Does Facebook Affect Your REAL LIFE Social Network?

I just had a revelation. I realized that my network of close personal friendships -- the people my wife and I spend time with in our local community -- has been altered over the years by our exposure on Facebook.
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Spire Leads Branding Project for Catalyst Life Services

Over the past 18 months, we've had the great privilege of working with The Center For Individual and Family Services Catalyst Life Services.
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Business Wisdom from the Farm: Planting Season

If I were forced to either forget everything I learned in college, OR forget everything I learned on the farm as a child, I wouldn't think twice. Early lessons on the farm were far more valuable. Things that seemed like common sense as a kid now seem profound. Here's a simple example.
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To He Who Said It Couldn't Be Done...

Somebody said that it couldn't be done, But, he with a chuckle replied That "maybe it couldn't," but he would be one Who wouldn't say so till he tried."
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Should Your Blog Be Separate From Your Website?

When working with small businesses, we often talk to people who have both a website AND a blog. Here are 5 important reasons why the blog and the website should be combined into one online presence.
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Avoiding Price Wars

What do you do when a potential buyer tells you your prices are too high? I've noticed that most sellers react in one of 3 ways. Most people GIVE IN, they GIVE UP, or they GET EVEN. Let me explain...
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7 Challenges of the Millennial Generation / Gen Y

What's the deal with young adults born from 1982-2000? Do we call them Generation Y? The Millenial Generation? How do I reach them? Is there any hope for our future?
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5 Practical Steps to Influence Gen Y

I finally got a chance to post the second half of my talk with Nate Bebout. In this video, Nate talks about what motivates the millennial generation, and 5 practical steps to make your marketing more effective.
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Introducing Our SpireCMS Fall Update

We're excited to release the Fall Update to SpireCMS. Many great improvements that makes this powerful marketing platform better than ever. Here's a video for our customers, which highlights some of the new features we think you'll like.
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Merry Christmas from Your Friends at Spire!

Merry Christmas! Be sure to watch to the very end for a special treat...
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Richland Source spotlights a successful Spire customer

Linda Carr of Linda's Mobile Grooming Palace was spotlighted in a feature article on Richland Source this week for her success growing her business.
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Infusionsoft Dashboards for Sales Reps and Sales Managers

At the 2014 edition of ICON, Greg Jenkins did an awesome presentation on sales dashboards for both sales reps and sales managers.
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How to Transform Your Website Into a Small Business Success Machine

Your website. It should be your greatest marketing asset. But for most small business owners, it's just a big headache. There are five areas of focus that need attention
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Google Mobile-Friendly Website Algorithm Will Hit April 21

It's official. Google is cracking down on websites that aren't mobile-friendly. For the first time that I can recall, they named the date.
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Drive people through your door with Facebook "Local Awareness" Ads

If the success of your small business depends on driving visitors through your door, you should try Facebook's "Local Awareness" ads. Local Awareness is a fairly new type of ad that targets visitors based on their location when they are online.
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Ashland Schine's Theater Restoration: Great Things Are Coming to Ashland

A group of local business and community leaders are leading a major grassroots effort to help transform downtown Ashland, Ohio. The group of leaders include Scott Donley
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3 Keys to Discover Your Calling

You probably worked jobs that utilized a strength, but you weren't passionate or influential. You maybe worked a job in an area of passion, but found you were no good at
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How to Avoid Becoming a Miserable Entrepreneur

I sometimes meet entrepreneurs who are successful, but absolutely miserable. For most, they just aren't passionate about the thing they are doing. Here are three ways that I see entrepreneurs get off course:
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Avoid the Trap of Self-Centered Marketing

Is your marketing too self-centered? Odds are, yes. If so, it's costing you traffic, leads and sales. "Self-centered" marketing talks too much about the business and the product for sale, and not enough about the customer who's buying it.
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How to Attract Sticky, Targeted Traffic

When you attract traffic to your website, you should find ways to immediately engage your visitors. And the only way to get them engaged is with content that focuses on the REAL NEEDS of your customer.
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3 Hidden Leaks in Your Marketing That Sink Sales

Would you like more sales? There are 3 hidden "leaks" that kill sales on most websites and marketing campaigns. Fix the leaks and you'll multiply the sales you get from your website, without increasing costs.
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What Story is Your Business Telling?

"So, what does your company do?" Have you ever felt like people are falling asleep when you try to answer that question? Me too. Your success in attracting new customers is dependent on your ability to boil your complex business down to an extremely simple brand story.
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The Success Blueprint to Multiply Sales

Ten or fifteen years ago, a good advertisement would make your phone ring. And an effective salesperson could turn those ringing phones into sales. Today, you need a plan to make the most of every advertising dollar you spend.
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10 Books that Transformed My Small Business

People sometimes ask me for suggestions of books to read. Usually I stare at my bookshelf and re-think it each time. It was time to make a list. Here are 10 books in particular that have transformed my business.
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How Entrepreneurs See Their Summer Vacations

This post is written for entrepreneurs everywhere. Vacations for entrepreneurs are critically important. I've started to view my summer vacation as an annual benchmark that helps me see the progress in my business growth.
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Spire Customers: Learn Our Simple, New, 4-Part Process

Your time is limited. You need a dependable way to grow. You want more clarity and control, but you don't want to get bogged down in technology.
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My near-death DIY experience

Are you a do-it-yourselfer? I would say that I am, but my wife might disagree. I once had a near-death experience with DIY. I was running new electrical in my basement man cave. I forgot to turn off the power at the main electric box... my pliers hit the main power supply and... BOOM!
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The Formula for Content Marketing Success

Tell your company's story in a way that keeps your audience engaged and generates sales!
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How Fear of Competition Can Stifle Success

As a leader, it's easy to let a fear of failure overcome your hope for success. This mindset stifles your decisions, makes it hard to enjoy winning, and most importantly, quickly infects the people you lead. Here are three lessons I've learned that have helped me stay focused on winning.
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Three growth hacks to increase results

Getting new business from cold traffic is the HARDEST, most expensive way to grow. These days, if you tell me, "I need results tomorrow," I won't suggest a website or an ad campaign as step one. I will prescribe one of three "growth hacks" that generate results much faster.
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Pick just one of these six goals for your website

If you don't have one single clear goal for your website, the project is likely to lead to disappointment.
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Ten Valuable Hiring Lessons for Startups

I’ve made a lot of mistakes over the years, and I often learn things the hard way. So today, I will share ten hiring lessons that I learned first-hand over our first ten years in business.
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Why Busy Leaders Need a Marketing Playbook

The difference between winning and losing often comes down to running the right play at the right time. In business, great leaders make quick decisions to run "plays" of their own. But success depends on having a killer playbook. You need to take inventory of what works, document it, and make sure your people know how to run the plays.
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How to politician-proof your small biz

As a small business leader, it's NORMAL to feel like you're at the mercy of things you can't control. But take heart. You have control over your small business.
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Mastering 5 Stages of Small Business Growth

What stage is your small business in? Having some clarity about where you’re at today, and where you’re headed makes the difference in moving the needle. Read on for how to find out where your small business is at and create a plan to grow.
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7 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Time

Your time is priceless. The most successful and fulfilled people in the world put a high value on their time.  Not just work time but in every part of their lives.  But it isn't easy. It requires making choices, getting help, and saying no. Be aware of the seven mistakes above, and you’ll find a lot more time to do what really matters in your life. 
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3 Keys to Avoid Price Wars and Sell Profitable Services to Local Homeowners

If you sell services to homeowners, you have a lot on your shoulders. You need to make sure your cell phone keeps ringing and your guys keep working.  So what can you do? Read on for three keys to competition-proof your business and close more profitable sales.
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How to Attract & Keep Great Workers: Part 1

You already know how important it is to hire great workers. Most hiring efforts fail because employers attract the wrong pool of applicants in the first place. Read on to learn more about how you can narrow your hiring process down to four steps that guarantee you're extending that job offer to the perfect candidate.
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How to Attract & Keep Great Workers: Part 2

What do you think it costs your business to replace a great employee? The second half of this 2-part series, teaches you how to build a place where people love to work, and where more great people are lining up to join your ranks.  
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3 Reasons Your Marketing Doesn’t Work Like It Used To

I have a friend here in Northern Ohio named Bill. He's been running the same local business since I was a kid. Things have become a lot harder for Bill than they used to be. He lamented to me over breakfast.
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How to Avoid Being Annoying on Social Media

Time and time again, I see small businesses make this critical mistake on social media: treating social media the same as your website. Here’s why it just doesn’t work that way.
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