Category Archives: humor

9-1-1 transcript: art emergency

Dispatcher: 9-1-1. What is your emergency?
Caller: Uh, I just can’t believe this.
Dispatcher: How can I help you, sir?
Caller: It’s completely crazy. How can they do this?!
Dispatcher: Sir, try to calm down. Let’s take this one step at a time.
Caller: But it’s mad! They can’t be serious.
Dispatcher: Take a deep breath, sir. Who are “they?”
Caller: It’s those two, you know, at “odd guy art.”
Dispatcher: You mean those witty, artsy, T-shirt people?
Caller: Yes! Oh my god. I can’t breathe.
Dispatcher: Ok, sir, slowly: Are they threatening you? With stylish shirts?
Caller: No, no, it’s… it’s much worse than that.
Dispatcher: Then what? What are they doing to you, sir?
Caller: Fff…fff… free shipping! They’re offering me FREE SHIPPING! On EVERYTHING!
Dispatcher: Sir, I need you to step away from your computer.
Caller: Ahhhhh! Ok, I’ve let go of the mouse. Are you sending an officer?!
Dispatcher: Heck no! I’ve got to get to oddguyart.com before their stock runs out!

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social media marketing and YOU

Good morning!

I studied writing in college, and I recall one particular class entitled “Writing For Media” that taught how to write news releases, radio advertising copy, TV ads, etc. That was 1995.

Well, it’s an entirely new world. Of course good writing skills never go out of style, but marketing has changed dramatically with the introduction of the internet. Now that we’ve started our own T-shirt design business, we’ve had to re-learn some basic concepts about marketing in 2010.

First, we’ve decided (for now, anyway) that we don’t need a marketing budget. *Shock*. A decade ago, that might have spelled instant failure in the business world, but thanks to the internet and its immediate global reach, we’re able to spread our message for free. Social media outlets like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are wonderful ways to convey our ideas and meet potential customers.

Secondly, there are social bookmarking sites like Digg and StumbleUpon and Delicious. These sites spread your web url to other members in response to the interests they listed upon joining. We joined several of these sites last week, and though we’re still learning how to use them, they seem to be working. (In fact, don’t tell Graham, but I’m secretly addicted to StumbleUpon).

We also participate in online forums, which are incredibly helpful online communities of like-minded people willing to share tips and advice about a particular area of interest. For us, the best we’ve found is t-shirtforums.com. We also started this blog (the one you’re reading right now), which is another online vehicle not only for marketing but for sharing information.

All of these media, in one way or another, provide an opportunity to market your business.

But how do you get your message heard amid the internet’s gazillion others?

First, you have to market specifically to your particular audience. This is called “niche marketing.” Who are your potential customers? Identifying your demographic is important. If your business sells, say, hammers for left-handed people, then you have to search the internet for elements of that exact group (and believe me, the internet contains information on some very specific groups. One quick search on blog publisher WordPress yielded 177,588 results for “left-handed”).

You also need to find a way to help potential customers solve their problem quickly. When a customer visits your site, the site design should enable him to make his decision rapidly and efficiently, and to enter into the buying cycle with ease.

Establish a genuine online persona in order to garner trust and create relationships with potential customers. Just be yourself. Leave status updates on Facebook and let your personality shine through. Write blog posts that not only talk about your products, but help your customers solve their problems and get to know you better. People are more willing to buy things from someone they feel that they know.

At this point our business is only three weeks old, so we still have a lot to learn. But teaching a couple of old dogs new tricks is still possible. And, we have to admit, it’s fun.

Marie

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let’s do launch

Tonight at 7:10 p.m. Central Time, “odd guy art” will launch its website and open for business. We are nearly delirious with excitement (or at least caffeine), and cannot wait to help you find just the artful T-shirt statement you are looking for. Dress yourself this summer in “odd guy art,” from head to, uh… waist; in caps, bags, and T-shirts. You’re going to look great:).

Once we open, visit our website often. We’ll be creating new designs, adding content to the “What’s New” page, building on our product line, and responding to your needs. Our goal at “odd guy art” is to make you happy.

See you tonight!

Marie

gearing up to open

Dear existing and potential friends,

As “odd guy art” prepares to open its virtual doors, we look forward to getting acquainted with you. We can’t wait to show you around our studio, and to help you into some unique, artistic, and witty T-shirts. If you have a sec, post a comment here and say hello.

How was your day?

Ours was busy in the best of ways. We placed our final shirt design order from our most excellent screen printer, Mountain Promotions in Oostburg, Wisconsin. They are currently undergoing a business identification upgrade (and adding services to boot), yet they’ve continued to serve customers like us promptly and efficiently. We cannot say enough wonderful things about the quality of their printing and the kindness/helpfulness of their staff.

While the last of our designs are being printed, we are working furiously on our website, registering our business, opening a bank account, organizing shipping materials, ordering shirt tags and business cards, and developing our marketing and web presence. We rarely sleep and drink lots of caffeine. But amid all the hard work, we laugh a great deal and are truly delighted to have set off on this venture. We hope we can spread some of that joy to you.

Bye for now!

Marie

PS: Here’s Graham looking very serious as we opened our company bank account yesterday. Ha. Smile, Graham!

photo shoot… fun

Yesterday was a beautiful 68F day here in Sheboygan. But even better than that it was the day we did our first photo shoot for “odd guy art.” I would rather be behind the camera than in front of it, but I ran out of excuses. So with camera and tripod set up, lighting organised, and laughing barely under control, we got down to it. We shot photos for much of the afternoon, downloading onto the laptop as we went. After much discarding of images, we had a selection of photos which will be used around the web site and other media. The whole experience was great fun. Not the least because we got to wear our shirts for the first time and discover just how good they look and feel. The deeper satisfaction for us, though, will come when you can enjoy these, too. We don’t want to give too much away just yet, but remember that raspberry cap? Imagine how good it will look on you!

We worked late last night (until midnight) and put together our web site home page. Take a look if you’d like; it’s now there at www.oddguyart.com . Now we don’t want to be sending you on a series of wild goose chases through unfulfilling hyperlinks. So for now there are none, apart from the ones which brought you here of course. We will be working on the rest of the web site ready for the full launch of “odd guy art” on May 7th. Marie is right, as described in her last post, I do look spooked every time I think about how much we have to do before that date. But, deadlines are great motivators, right?

Graham

Marie here…

While I was raised in the U.S., Graham grew up in the U.K., so you’ll notice that he spells things with extra U’s. This cannot be helped. You’ll eventually see the humour. (See?).

I’m very excited to start this new enterprise; it feels like a lifetime of experiences and interests are combining into something delightfully fruitful. I’ve always loved clever humor, like that of Steve Martin, Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Dave Barry, David Sedaris, Ellen DeGeneres, Garrison Keillor, and Demetri Martin, among many others. I grew up watching SNL and reading The Onion. I own every Bloom County book ever published. So to integrate these witty influences with 25 years of art and design experience seems a natural fit.

Our line of fun and artful T-shirts will debut in early spring. They will feature thoughtful, witty, and quirky designs of our own creation. Please stop in again when you have time.

Cheers,

Marie