Oh, you have plans?!

No matter how much of a plan you make for yourself, there is always a greater plan in store for you. I’m facing an interesting intersection; it’s not a fork in the road, because it’s all in how you look at it. I believe a lesson that was brought to my attention previously, has come full circle for me to try again. Yes, I’m going to talk about goROGUE. From earlier posts, you’ve read how much I loved creating my community magazine app. Yet, I took on too much; I’ve heard it called “superhero syndrome” – I thought I could do it all. Every project, if not funded through savings, grants or loans, needs to be monetized. I was aware of this. However, I underestimated just how much work I was creating for myself, and I truly did need a team. The need for advertising was very apparent. My guards went up when I realized how much I would be asking of people/businesses; I had no background information for them, in reference to ROI. With a newly launched project, I felt unable to guarantee subscription numbers, I was without data to justify the advertising cost I intended on requesting. Not only that, my vision for the ads were as equally work-intensive as the articles. I needed two of me; three of me to keep being a attentive parent at the same time.

Fast forward to two years later. With my move to Whitecourt, I intended to do the work I was ‘comfortable’ with, confident I could interest clients with. I felt I should stick with doing somewhat traditional work, don’t do anything too crazy, Ellen. But, as kind as many business people are to hear out what my business includes, the phone is not ringing. I believed being the solo commercial photographer in town, with abilities to create marketing materials and social media content really would interest people. And it does; it just needs more time, I need more advertising budget, and I need to build my credibility here. I get that. I’ve spoken before of being someone who goes with their gut, and takes risks. goROGUE came to fruition because I felt compelled to create it, I had a very clear vision. Now, my gut instinct has made me very interested in Impact Video Boards, here in Whitecourt. So I called them up, introduced my services, and stated how I wanted to see my work up on the boards – two simultaneous 16’x8′ LCD screens, located at the busiest intersection in town. You can’t ignore these video boards. By the time we had our next conversation, my thoughts took it a step further – in thinking of what I had to offer, I wondered if they had a dedicated sales rep. “I’ll offer to do sales”, I thought. So I did. And of course, didn’t I take it yet another step further – “What about social media?”, I asked, “I believe that would be added-value for your clients, to be see online with the #Whitecourt hashtag”. These last two intuitive steps are what I believe got me in the door.

So, outdoor digital advertising. Here I am, associated with the digital realm again, and I couldn’t be happier. The steps I have taken over the past few months, i.e.: Toastmasters and the Whitecourt Business Network involvement, are not the steps I thought would bring me to the place that I ‘planned’ to be, yet they are exactly what I needed to work on my weaknesses to turn them into strengths. I’m getting a second chance to learn about selling digital advertising; this time without the time constraints of also creating the content plus publishing within a deadline. I’m developing an Independent Advertising Agent aspect with Exposure. I’m sure some of the folks on the Impact team wonder why I’m as direct as I am, and I will show them goROGUE at some point in the near future. But, it’s because I have, or had, this vision previously, of how I would run such a project. I highly value quality and service. Gratefully, they’re very kind, enthusiastic people, that are ok with my energy and me taking the lead when and where I see necessary. I’m truly blessed!

Be water, my friend.


Methods, options… what kind of advertising catches your eye?

Indoor – outdoor, digital – print.. today I feel like chatting about all the different avenues there are for advertising these days.

PRINT – Newspapers, magazines, newsletters, booklets, flyers, direct mail/marketing materials, portable printed medium, advertorials.

OUTDOOR – Transit bus benches, transit bus shelters, transit bus panels (inner and outer), vehicle wraps, billboards (traditional), LCD screens (digital).

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GUERILLA – Anything unconventional, usually invites the consumer to participate or interact with the piece in some way. Location and timing are important. Based upon creative ideas and innovation. Spread via word of mouth or social media.

BROADCAST – TV (legacy), online (YouTube/Vimeo), radio, video, podcasting.

PUBLIC SERVICE – Designed to inform or educate, rather than sell product or service.

PRODUCT PLACEMENT – Branded goods and services within a show or movie, rather than explicit ad.

CELL AND MOBILE – Twitter and Facebook campaigns/notifications, SMS offers.

DIGITAL – Any ad seen online, primary revenue driver for the internet.. Banners (skyscrapers, full banners, squares and buttons), Adsense, email advertising, email marketing, Google ads, Facebook ads, YouTube ads, Sponsored Tweets, rich media banners, search engine optimization (SEO), social networking, online classified ads, site takeovers, apps, even spam – pop-up and pop-under ads, pre-video ads, blogging. Payment methods: – Cost Per Action, Pay Per Click, or Cost Per Mile

SOCIAL – Also falls under Digital advertising, however, differs from ‘social media sharing’, which is part of Marketing Strategy’s Interactive Communications.

In speaking with an associate this morning, we both recognized the value of personal selling, referral based sales and the power of WORD OF MOUTH vs. the cost of advertising. Your type of business, size of community and reach of consumers are defining elements as to the effectiveness of the in-person methods mentioned.

What kind of advertising catches your eye? In these times, where ads are everywhere we look, what type of ads have actually caught your eye lately? Share comments below or via the social media you were directed through today.


Recently, I designed an ‘invitation card’ to bring along with me to leave with prospective clients upon meeting. It gave me an opportunity to utilize ‘less is more’. I spoke of a summed version of what I do, so as not to overwhelm them, or take up too much of their time (as I was coming in unannounced). By stating that I was at their place of business only to introduce myself and my business, I was able to leave a description of my services with them, to read at their discretion. A visual of the card can be viewed here:


My name is Ellen. I run EXPOSURE photo design publishing here in Whitecourt (Alberta). New to the area, I’m seeking out businesses and groups in need of more exposure.

If your website, social media or marketing materials are in need of fresh imagery, graphics, or content writing, I’d like to help with that.

If a chat about your marketing strategy and advertising options would be helpful, I’d like to assist with that as well. Let’s identify your target market and go from there.

Let my affordable solutions bring your business the exposure you desire!”

As you can see by the video, all contact information is available on the back of the card; Facebook, WordPress, Twitter, LinkedIn, phone number and email.