Tag Archives: marketing

Bizness As Usual

6 Apr

One of the areas in my career I’ve been working on quite a bit is BizComics.

As you may know, BizComics was actually launched in June of 2015.  However, just recently, we’ve relaunched it.  Why?  It needed it.  The original site didn’t have really any content to go visit (well, just not a super-ton of content).  It explained what we do (which, if you don’t know, you should just go visit the site instead of me explaining it all here).  It had some cartoons, but not anything to keep anyone THAT interested.  If we had a way of serving free coffee there, that would’ve been interesting.  Unfortunately at the time, we did not (and sorry – still don’t).

Basically, we needed a better way of getting the message out of what we do.  And have a bit more fun on our end while we’re at it.

What we do though has remained the same since the start.  Just the site and content to go with it has changed.

With the relaunch, a few exciting new things have been happening in the neighborhood.

One is, there is a new weekly cartoon and blog featured every week.  They’re always business, office, marketing – you know, biz stuff related.

Bells and Whistles

Above:  Here’s an example.  The latest BizComic cartoon.

Also, there is a new quarterly graphic novel series, Max Impact:  Marketing Detective.  It’s an ongoing series about Max trying to solve marketing problems.  Definitely more exciting than the latest Batman v Superman movie.  No, really.  It’s a fresh and engaging feature I think you’ll enjoy.

We’ve also added all the social media outlets that you can follow us on.  That includes Facebook, Linkedin, Pintrest, Twitter and InstaGram.  If I’m missing any, please let me know.

As a cartoonist, I love just about every thing about the craft.  I’ve always compared cartooning to acting:  I take on many roles.  I work on daily gags, graphic novels, stupidity for MAD and – along with it all – I really have a passion for using cartoons for marketing.  They ARE the best marketing material out there.  (That’s why it kills me when cartoons get axed from publications.  Don’t they realize the cartoons are often the most read part of it?  It’s a proven stat.  Ask the NewYorker.)

And I always mention to companies I work with and potential clients, when was the last time you DIDN’T pay attention to a cartoon on your news feed?  (The answer, when answered honestly, is typically that you always do.)

Cartoons work.

So, anyway, I’m not trying to make a pitch here about BizComics, but it has been a big area of focus recently and I hope you check out the new features (why, just click here).  I’ve been working hard with the coolest marketing team out there and we’ve really come a long ways since our initial launch over a year ago.

I’m thrilled to keep growing this bizmonster.

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Business As Usual

2 Jul

I’ve never claimed to be a businessman.  Nope.  I really wish I was, but I’m not.  I always have these really BIG ideas, however, from a business perspective, I sometimes never know quite how to achieve big things.

I’ve read numerous business books (and still keep reading them), worked in marketing and more.  But when it comes to MY business, well…..

I watched a documentary about cartooning recently and there was a section in there about a couple of cartoonist (web cartoonist, that is) that got a pretty decent following.  A business-type knew of their work and offered to take over the financial/marketing side of things.  And, the couple of guys agreed.  Seems like things are well.  It’s what they needed to become financially well-off.

I think about that sometimes.

Marketing, business and “getting the word out” is not my forte.  I wish – at times – I had just a total business guru come along, see my work and offer to figure out ways of making it all happen.  I do have people I work with on certain projects (like my partners at BizComics and my website) – which is great – but I’m still stuck in a rut to numerous other prospective things.

Sales Slumped Couch

Here are several thoughts I’m trying to figure out if I can do or not – assuming I’m on my own and no business guru comes along and gives me a hand.

My Own Painting/Drinking Events:  Right now, I’ve been currently teaching painting in the evenings for some extra money (after all, I do have a daughter on the way) and experience.  I actually find it fun.  It’s at restaurants and participants can enjoy a drink and meal while they paint.  I just joke around with them, paint and let my sarcasm rip.  So, I’ve thought about opening up my own painting at places type thing.  Right now I’m working under someone.  No, I’m not an employee – but as an artist, I don’t make as much as the person who brings in the cash from ticket sales.  My thoughts are why don’t I just have my own?  After all, I know restaurant managers, can hire painters (and do it myself) and a good friend of mine is in the wine business.  Why not?

Oh yeah…it takes money and marketing to do this.  Riiight.

A Cartooning Talk:  I’d love the opportunity to go around and talking about my cartooning career.  I’m imagining a slide-show presentation that was fun and all about my journey of being a frustrated cartoonist trying to make it when a lot of possibilities of cartooning are basically extinct.  Seems like a good thing, but I can’t exactly say “I’ve made it” with this talk since I’m constantly looking for new ways of making money.  I have professional work in publications and so-forth, but consistency is my issue.  So, not sure if I am qualified to talk about cartooning when it’s still a struggle for me at times.  (Although, that being said, has any cartoonist nowadays actually “made it”?)

Some cartoonists get calls to do talks.  I’m assuming they just don’t have my phone number.

Online Cartooning Course:  I tried this last year and it didn’t do too well.  I would create the whole thing over and try again.  Thinking of something along the lines of selling cartoons.  Again, how do I get the word out about this?  Eh, something to think about.  I just have a feeling – like last time – marketing it would be my issue.  I have people that read my work on a regular basis but probably aren’t too interested in learning cartooning.  At least that is what I experienced when I tried this before.

Books:  I’ve got gobs of books I’m working on.  My fear is getting them out in public.  I had a failed Kickstarter several years ago because I couldn’t get enough attention for it (or people didn’t really find it something they wanted to support).  It did have some awesome supporters – but not enough.  And I think from a business point of view, I asked for too much money.  Anyway, it wasn’t very pleasant.  I have a hard time pitching new things.  I get overwhelmed when I go to Kickstarter and see cartoons I’ve never heard of just raise $50,000 on a project and I’m like, “How?  I’ve never even heard of you guys!”

Well, these are just a few ideas I’m thinking about.

What’s frustrating for me is consistency and time.

I consistently make money off of numerous platforms, but these platforms aren’t growing quickly enough.  I have some NEW venues I’m excited about.  Here again though, they will take awhile to take-off.  I’m hoping they become more consistent, but only time will tell.  In the meantime, business as usual needs to pick up.  I have a new addition coming, so that’s why I say that.  We’ve been getting by okay for now, but I want something my family can really feel comfortable with.  That will be numerous sources of income (like I have now), but I need to get some new stuff out there.  Baby Fakes will need diapers.

And the time thing.  What DO I focus on the most to generate more income?  Here’s where making a good decision helps.

So, I’m hoping I make some good business decisions from now and throughout my life. (A lot to ask for, I know.)

I hope I’m not coming across as a “poor me” in this post – because I think all of us have been here before whether you’re a business owner, employee or anything.  Sometimes, you just want to make the best decision about switching a job, relocating, hiring/firing, etc.  I know I’m not alone.  But it is frustrating, right?  I always feel like there’s just one, itsy-bitsy element that I’m missing that makes the difference between a few cents and a modest living.  Think, brain.  Think!

I know many new parents feel the need to make more – so that’s where I’m at.  After all, I need to think about sending my child through art school in the future, right?

Chances of a multimillionaire calling me up and putting an ad out for my work on Super Bowl Sunday probably isn’t too likely, so I continue to work away at new ideas and try to prepare for the future.  Things aren’t horrible – but again, I want them to pick-up.  It’s natural.

And while I’m at it, I’ve surrounded myself with good people that tend to help the cause more than hurt it, so that’s a plus.  And I do have exciting, new things that I’m anxious to grow (like BizComics and my website).

While I might not be the best businessman on the face of this earth, I do feel like I have just about every other element that I need.  I work hard, dedicated and – well – good stuff.  Really, I can take things far.  I’ve done it before.

Just those BIG ideas and where to take them.  That’s the BIG question.

 

Nate Fakes Cartoons and BizComics

11 Jun

The day has come where I can introduce you to the newest go-to source for all your cartoon needs, Nate Fakes Cartoons (www.natefakescartoons.com).

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 8.55.17 AM

I’m thrilled to announce I actually have a full, functional website that features all of services which includes custom cartoons, stock cartoons, illustration and the latest feature, BizComics.

In the past, I’ve tried (terribly) to create my own site where customers could purchase my stock cartoons for use.  Let’s just say it was a failed effort.  Luckily though, roughly a year ago, I got together with my friend Mark, who is owner of O’Brien Communications Group and asked for help.

Throughout this time, I’ve been corresponding with Mark and the rest of the team (Jonathan and JoAnna) and they helped develop Nate Fakes Cartoons.  Despite being great people, they know what they’re doing.

This new site still has a few upgraded features being added – but is basically complete.  Soon, there will be a search bar where you type in a keyword for what type of cartoon you’re looking for and it will pull-up everything associated.  Right now, what’s holding that up is my tagging of all of the cartoons.  There are over 1,500 of them in the library (and growing everyday), so it’s a lengthy process.  In the meantime though, everything is categorized, so you can still browse through and look for a specific cartoon.

For the stock cartoons, once purchased, it’s an instant download, so you get the cartoon(s) instantly.  Prices vary on use – but there are three simple options to choose from.

As for custom work, there are several exciting options for that.

I do custom illustrations for basic needs – such as a birthday card or something simple – for a fair price.  However, most of the custom work I do is for businesses and corporate clients.  Therefore, as of this past Tuesday, another collaboration with O’Brien’s that we just launched is BizComics.

bizcomics

BizComics is – in my humble opinion – the absolute best marketing tool that can be used for any company to help support their brand.  And the best part is – it’s fun!

It’s not just a website but it’s a club.

The idea sparked from one of the features that I’ve created with O’Brien’s, Thought Leadership.  It’s been a success.  And so, why not take that to the next level and introduce cartoons to other companies?  What business WOULDN’T want their own feature in their newsletters, website, emails, etc.?  Many probably haven’t even considered them (cartoons) an option, however, BizComics let’s them know about it – and why it works.

I always ask people when DIDN’T you pay attention to a cartoon on your Facebook feed, in a magazine or email?  Think about it – if you see one, you typically read it.  BizComics once again enforces my belief that cartoons are the most effective marketing tool for any brand.  They WILL draw (no pun intended) attention.  And customers take notice.

There is a link to BizComics on the Nate Fakes Cartoons site and also you can read the official press release of it by clicking here.  Or, jump right to it and visit BizComics at www.bizcomics.club.

So, for stock cartoons, custom work, BizComics, illustrations or to just send me a note that says “hello” – Nate Fakes Cartoons is open for business.

Hope you stop by, hangout for awhile and I’ll see about offering coffee and donuts while you’re there.

Another Week-In-Review

15 May

Do worms swim?bod150509

My first comic in this week-in-review will pose that question.  My instinct is that they probably do not enjoy swimming.  In fact, water in general is probably quite terrifying considering the fate of many of their comrades due to fishing.  However, hey, if Jimmy did open up a business like this, I’m guessing this would be the outcome.  I do know that they’re all about things underground – not above.

My next cartoon of the week took awhile for me to piece together.

bod150510I wanted to make sure I had the best caption on it (I call it Quality Control).  And I think I achieved that goal.  But, there were a few different angles I could’ve went with it.  When mentioning the word pact, I often think of nations or countries forming one.  So, I almost created a president or military-type person in the cartoon.  At the end though, I went with an average Joe.

I think it turned out well.

Is it my favorite of the week?  Eh, I can’t say that about it.  BUT, my next cartoon might be.

This was another Reader’s Digest rejection.  bod150511

I’ve forgotten my keys on many occasions.  One time, right when I was packing up for vacation, I had my car loaded up and was ready to go.  Once I shut my trunk though, I discovered my keys weren’t in my pocket.  And my car doors were locked.  Therefore, it put a damper on the start of a great vacation.

If one forgets the keys to heaven (if keys are required), that might be a bit more devastating.bod150512

And now to another Dr. cartoon.

I’ve been producing quite a few medical comics recently.  Why?  Honestly, they sell.  The medical profession is a good market that purchases my cartoons for use via licensing them.  So, I create as many as I can.  That being said, I try not to saturate my dailies with them because we all like a little variety, right?

Anyhow, the original caption on this cartoon read, “It’s way too good, son.  It needs to be much more illegible if you ever want to become a doctor.”

I thought that was a bit too long, so I shortened it to what you see now.  Better?  Well, I’d like to think so.  (But then again, I say that about all my work.)

bod150513I always have a weird time drawing animals in awkward situations – such as in the next cartoon.

Obviously, cows can’t stand or hold their bellies.  So, when drawing this, I realize anatomically – it’s not realistic.  That makes it weird to draw.

Luckily in my profession, I’m not drawing accurate anatomically correct images for science books, so I can get away with it.

bod150514And now onto skating.

I’m not sure if this guy would make a great father figure or not.  But, his figure eights are okay – I guess.

This cartoon originally had a black ink outline for the eight.  But, with my outstanding digital skills, I traced over that with a lighter color to give it that ice-look.

Actually, I could use some work on my digital capabilities.  If you look closely, that’s a pretty wobbly figure eight.  Therefore, that’s why I mentioned this guys figure eight is just…okay.  It could be better.  Maybe he could be a better father figure, too?  (Okay, I can’t be that harsh on the guy.)

bod150515The last cartoon of this week required some help with a ruler sitting at my drawing table.

Drawing golf clubs isn’t as easy as you think.

I had to make those lines as straight as possible.  Normally, I like the more organic look and DON’T use a ruler in many images that require straight lines.  On this occasion I did.  If I drew a wobbly golf club, I’m sure I’d get some viewer mail pointing out my flaws.

It requires a steady hand and after a few cups of coffee, that’s not always easy.  So, this was a challenging cartoon, but I think I made it decent.  And a Golf Club sounds like a fun time to par-take in.

Well, that is it for my week-in-review!

Enjoy those above ground pools as the weather warms up.  Don’t have one?  Maybe consider buying one from Jimmy.

 

 

 

Wedding Season

1 May

I call this particular post ‘Wedding Season’ due to the fact I have several cartoons featuring marriage.  One was pretty popular.  The other one received scathing reviews and some very interesting comments on GoComics.

Let’s start with the positive.bod150425

This cartoon was another Reader’s Digest rejection.  I actually had a few angles I was going to take with it.  One of them was going to be having the ocean filled with numerous bottles.  However, I thought to myself, “Where would all of those bottles have come from to begin with?”  Also, I sketched it out, and it just looked – off.

So, I stuck with one bottle and hey, I think people enjoyed it.

As for how they’ll get married without a pastor?  Beats me.

As I age, I am going to try my damnedest to stay in tune with current technology.

As tech stuff has boomed over the last couple of decades, I’ve been around many people that really don’t have a clue even how to turn on a computer.  When I mention this, keep in mind that back in the day, I worked tech support (not for computers, but other gadgets).  Probably the most frustrating career (besides cartooning) of my life.bod150426

I told myself back then that I would never let that happen to me.  “Stay up-to-date on technology, Nate.” I told myself as I tried to figure out how to turn off the shuffle option on my MP3 player.

And now that I’ve said that, I may have jinxed it and watch me be waaaay behind in several decades.  Oh well.

But speaking of age, age is just a number – just like the next cartoon.

One of the only things I comprehended in math was even and odd numbers.  THAT I could grasp.  Everything else was just garble.  bod150427

That lead to the latest number comic which I enjoyed creating (not that I don’t enjoy creating ALL my work, but you know).

Now it’s time for a stretch….

Stretch of patience, that is.bod150428

This is one of those off-the-wall ideas that just came to me while thinking back to some old songs that I used to get a kick out of.  Such as this one.

Anyway, it was an idea also sparked by those early car rides that I had growing up on family vacation.  My poor sister was tortured by me relentlessly for hours upon end.

Amazingly, she likes me now (I think).bod150429

This next cartoon was the TOP cartoon on Reddit for a day!  Whoo-hoo!

Okay, I’ve mentioned it before on here, but really, what does that mean?  Is it a big deal?  Do I get a big bonus check for having a top comic on Reddit?

The answer is simply, it really doesn’t do much of anything.  BUT, I am pleased that it was so popular, so that’s what it does – it makes me feel popular.  Hey, I’ll take it.  Considering I really wasn’t in high school, it’s kind of nice from time to time nowadays.

And now, my second cartoon dealing with marriage.

THIS one proved very unpopular – at least online.bod150430

As for me?  I actually think it’s quite amusing, so that’s why I created it.  And yes, I’m happily married and have never been divorced, so maybe that’s why it struck a nerve with some people?  Not sure.  At any rate, it didn’t get many “likes” on Facebook, didn’t fare so well on Reddit and received some very interesting comments on GoComics (like I mentioned early).

So, if those are the platforms for judging a cartoons success (which they’re really not), than it was an utter failure.  However, I license out all my work.  Any divorce attorneys out there looking for a good cartoon for your website or newsletter?  I’m your man.  Call me.

But, let’s end on a high-note.

THIS cartoon was almost – ALMOST – used in Reader’s Digest.bod150501

It was in the selection committees office.  However, in the end, it was not used.

I’ve been pushing for a cartoon in that publication for years now, but I took a lot of time off submitting to them (for some reason).  Now, in the past couple of months, I’ve figured out a better system of pitching material, so I submit regularly.

One of these days, I’ll have a cartoon in there.  No, really….I WILL!

Alright, gang, that does it for this week-in-review.

For the daily cartoon and more commentary, be SURE to sign up for my daily email!  I know this sounds like a pitch, but honestly, I just send the daily email and don’t SPAM you with wanting money or anything.  Of course, I’ll have special promos, announcements and more when I have new launches or something of value, but it’s not like those annoying Linkedin updates.  CLICK HERE TO JOIN.

 

 

 

 

The New Landscaper

11 Apr

You’ll have to excuse me for a moment.  I’m just a little amped-up about something….

You see, I’ve always been very outspoken when talking about cartoons and marketing.  Yes, my opinion is – and always will be – cartoons are THE BEST form of marketing out there.

I can’t stress this enough.  I always use the example of the last time you ignored a cartoon on your Facebook feed.  Ever?  Probably not.

Or, when browsing through a magazine.  Cartoon there?  If there is one, chances are you’ve read it.

Okay, so they grab your attention (just like the bold letters I sometimes use throughout my posts to keep you from falling asleep).

But there’s more to them.  And that’s the marketing part I’ll chat a bit about.

Cartoons work.  How?

Well, just like with the eye-catching cartoons you see in day-to-day life on social media and elsewhere, like I mentioned, they’ll grab your attention.  Especially when associated with a company or brand.  Often times the result will be customers that keep coming back for more, employees that stick around and an overall memorable experience in general.  People can’t get enough!  It’s like crack (but doesn’t kill).

I came up with another way of looking at it.

Let’s say there is a brick and mortar store setup.  You have several stores surrounding it.  Got the visual?  Great.

Now, let’s say that the first mentioned store hires a landscaper to really make their landscape “pop”.  And the other businesses do not.

Of course it depends on the business and what – as a consumer – you’d be stopping in for, but can you imagine that the store with the nice landscape will attract more attention than the ones without?  Okay, well, that’s why businesses hire a landscaper.

BarketingIn this digital world, it’s all kind of the same.  Hiring a cartoonist is no different.

Websites with great designs do better than those with lackluster ones.  Offers that brands have can be more attractive than others.  And with cartoons, you’re adding a Purple Cow (yes, I got that from a book).

So, I tell every client of mine considering custom work or cartoons to please realize that – not only are cartoons a good time – but they’re actually an investment.  Long-term investment, as well, because they keep people/clients coming back for more.   And I have a fun time watching them work.

My job is to crank out the material in many different formats and platforms.  The marketing/custom cartoon platform has been a growing investment for me – and the client(s).

This is all why I’m amped-up.  So much potential out there in this digital age.  It’s not just syndication and publications anymore – the demand for good cartoons is growing – and that’s my industry.  Nice.

At the end of the day though, I guess it’s all just funny business.