Brand Interview: David Leonhardt, The Happy Guy Marketing
How long has your company been in business? Please tell us a bit about your company, its mission, goals…
The Happy Guy Marketing has been in business for almost a decade. Like so many things in my life, it grew as an accident of opportunity, with two main services based on my own personal skills. For a small company, this is important for two reasons:
- Any service we offer, I am personally able to do when required, and
- Any task performed by others, I am able to evaluate and help direct
Our two main services are writing and website promotion. At first blush, these two streams of endeavor would seem symbiotic, but it is not always so. This is because of the twisted realities of the writing marketplace.
Web writing buyers expect to pay bottom dollar and shop for the most part on price, not on quality. The Happy Guy Marketing does not engage in race-to-the-bottom bidding wars; we focus on quality. So we do write some blogs, but most writing projects are offline.
Book writing buyers and screenplay buyers expect quality and are often prepared to pay for it. So much of our writing is books and screenplays, as well.
I personally write song lyrics, self-help and humor, but we have a small and talented team that specialize in fiction, finance, health, screenplays, Christian, journalism, business, biography and most other areas.
Do you donate to charities? Tell us about that also and why.
No, we do that as individuals.
Tell us about your brand.
Our brand is twofold.
1. The name itself projects an image of people you would enjoy doing business with – friendly, inviting, easy to deal with. We live up to that with an easy-going, can-do attitude, where very few things are carved in stone and we are flexible to the clients’ needs.
2. We pride ourselves in great quality at a reasonable price. Our goal is to give the lowest price that we can without sacrificing quality. So if a prospect wants to shop around for a lower price, they will most likely sacrifice quality. On the other hand, if they have $10,000 extra to spend, they are unlikely to find better quality elsewhere.
How did you know what typeface (font) would be right for your company wordmark or logo? If your logo has an illustration, describe why that art was the right thing, animal, place, object, etc…
Typeface? LOL, what’s that? We gave very little thought to it. We just wanted simple – sans-serif.
As to the logo, we gave a lot of thought to it. We wanted to reflect the name and the brand, so it had to reflect the “happiness” theme and also be both simple (not look expensive) and very professional (look top quality). So we settled on the well-recognized Happy Face, simple, but given a 3-D professional makeover.
How did you decide on the right color palette to fit your company look and feel?
The colors really flowed from the Happy Face logo. Because it was 3-D, there was shadowing that the traditional bright yellow did not properly accommodate, and also we wanted a more professional look than the jarring and amateur Happy Face of wide renown.
How did you decide which type of designer to work with, or did you design your own identity and web presence?
We had a team we were already working with for clients.
In what order did you present your company to the world? Did you start with marketing and products, or website, blog and social media?
The blog and Twitter actually came afterwards. We started with perhaps half the specific service pages we have now. Both our writing and web promotion services have matured greatly over time.
How long after the launch of your company did you start pitching in social media?
I don’t remember, honestly. I don’t think there was a starting point; things just developed organically.
Did you do research or study any software, take webinars, teleclasses, before approaching any area of your marketing or web presence?
Do you advertise locally in newspapers and/or nationally in magazines? Are they effective?
No advertising at all.
Which social media site to spend the most time on and how does it help marketing your business?
The main goals of social media for us are not related to marketing. Since we do content marketing for other sites, having a large network of allies to help spread those messages is critical.
Of course, we also market our own content, so these networks help us greatly.
So networking is how it helps, and Twitter is tops for this. But we are also on all the other big sites to some degree or another, as well as on social bookmarking sites (We run one just for Canadian content at www.Zoomit.ca) and social sharing exchanges like Viral Content Buzz and JustRetweet.
When you printed your products, packaging, business cards and other print marketing did you choose an online printer or visit a local vendor?
We used a local vendor. You might think it funny that someone who lives on the computer and does website marketing would prefer to buy offline, but I like to feel things between my fingers before buy. And I like to talk to the guy behind the counter to clarify details. I do most of my research online, but I still buy mostly offline.
Did you know anything about different types of papers, when you wanted to print your marketing materials?
Yes…enough to ask the right questions.
Have you ever used “green” technology in printing, using FSC certified papers or recycled paper and if not, how likely are you at trying this on a next project?
Do you speak at events? If so tell us about that.
Not often. I’m basically a hermit. I have taught SEO at Algonquin College a couple times and as I respond to your questions I am preparing a presentation on SEO and web writing to a team of translators.
Is there anything you haven’t yet tackled, but will want to do soon?
Yes, but for that need a salesperson who can sell to independent local entrepreneurs, so if there is anyone like that reading this interview, please ask them to contact me!
To learn more about David Leonhardt and The Happy Guy Marketing, visit the links below:
A more complete social presence at: