Recently our client Hayes Valley Medical and Esthetics moved to a gorgeous new location in Marin. When promoting their grand opening we noticed their Google Map pin, which Google generates automatically for businesses, did not show along with other nearby businesses on larger map views. This is because Google algorithmically determines when a business location shows on Google Maps, and it is based on factors like how long it has been at the current address as well as the number of Google reviews for the business. (HINT: Ask your good customers for Google reviews!) So you do not have control over when your Place Label shows as the user zooms in on your general location on Google Maps.

The below screen captures show that at a larger scale, HVME does not show until you zoom in closely on their location.

google map hvme not showing

Zoom in closer and it does show:

google map hvme showing


Holiday Marketing

(If you are looking for gifts, decor, corporate gifting, inspiration, or fun, MenloVille, pictured above, decked for the holidays, is a great place to start. Tell Lisa we say, “hello”.)

Well, I’m a little late this year with the reminder.


These are the things that seem end up being rushed in November and costing extra for rush shipping – prepping and ordering gift bags, greeting cards, holiday decor, gift certificates, gift tags, posters, etc…

Each year in November and December we get a slew of last-minute projects for which clients end up paying rush shipping and printing rates. (Reminder of our rush project policy.)


Plan your online marketing: e-mail campaigns, seasonal web site changes, and AdWords campaigns.

Are you sending cards, party invitations, and/or gifts to your clients and partners this year? Let’s get on that too!

Selling gifts? Check your inventory and the lead times of items you wish to stock. From October on-wards, order fulfillment and shipping from your vendors may take additional time. Also, be sure you stock plenty of festive packaging and shipping supplies if you plan on mailing items.

Holiday party? Book your caterer (you can’t go wrong with our client, Palace Cafe Catering!), asap. Start sending Save the Date invites early. Plan how you are going to invite people and take RSVPs.

Don’t forget your staff! Plan parties, gifts, etc…

This is also the time of year to think about partner marketing for the holidays. Consider gathering a group of businesses with similar clients to yours and use their mail lists and social media to get the word out about your holiday specials, events, etc…

Here’s some 2017 key dates to keep in mind…


Halloween, Tuesday, 31th


Daylight Savings, Sunday, 5th

Veterans’ Day, Friday, 11th

Thanksgiving, Thursday, 23rd

Black Friday, 24th

Cyber Monday, 27th


Pearl Harbor Remembrance, Thursday, 7th

Green Monday, 11th

Hanukkah, Tuesday, 12th through Wednesday, 20th

Festivus, Saturday, 23rd

Christmas Day, Monday, 25th

Boxing Day | Kwanzza, Tuesday, 26th

New Year’s Eve, Sunday, 31st


Last month, our client Hayes Valley Medical & Esthetics invited us to their San Francisco location to try their new facial – Event-Ready Facial.  It was quite an experience, at least for me as I just lay there, while John took the photos and Licensed Esthetician, Holly Byerly modeled beautifully while working.

(BTW, fab manicure, Holly!)

This experience was unlike any facial I’d experienced before – more like a treatment visibly minimizing wrinkles and firming my skin.  And unlike any previous facial, it really is event-ready – no redness or splotchiness.

Photos have been used as a blog post promoting the facial, an instagram post (left), and will be Facebooked too.

Yes, many people will see me at absolutely the worst possible angle – neck and nostrils!  I’m not ready to add model to my resume, but if anyone wants to give me a luxurious, clinically-sound, and results-driven facial, I don’t have an issue with a few unflattering photos.






Instagram Repost

Instagram does not have a share or repost feature as their intent is that content be original, rather than the same material shared around. There’s two ways you can repost on Instagram, with or without an app.

Instagram Re-poster App


Visit Google Play or the App Store from your smartphone and search for “repost for instagram” or “repost for instagram”. You’ll get a lot of options – read the reviews and pick the one that works for you. Free apps have been fine for us.

Directions will vary for each app and type of phone, but this should give you enough info to work it out. 

Once you have the app installed:

1 – Be sure you are logged into the Instagram account to which you wish to post! If yes, go to #2 below. If not, you’ll need to be sure to memorize the Instagram handle of the post you wish to repost, and when you are logged into your correct Instagram account, search for the handle of the poster, and find the post you wish to repost.

2 – Click the three little dots at the top/right of the post – you’ll get a drop-down with several options if the poster’s settings allow a re-post.  Select “Copy Link”.

3 – Open your repost app and the post you just copied will be waiting for you at the top of the list. Click on it.

4 – You’ll have options for where to put the attribution mark and how it will look, whether to copy the original poster’s text as well as the photo (you’ll get to edit the text at the next step), and whether to post to your story or feed.

5 – You’ll be in Instagram now. If you wish, add multiple photos or videos to the post or apply a filter. Go to “next”.

6 – If you copied the text from the original poster, double tap the “caption” area and paste. Or write your own copy. Either way, you can edit the text or add hashtags.

7 – Add your location if you wish, and share.



Instagram Repost No App

(Technically, not a re-post, but it gets the job done.)

On your phone, do a screen capture of the post.

Note the poster’s Instagram handle.

Open Instagram and use the cropping feature to crop out everything except the photo.

Then post as you do usually. Thank the poster and use a @hashtag with their Instagram handle.

(If you want to be re-posted, be a brand ambassador and do as this poster, @mercygoddard did – be a brand’s dream Instagrammer. She tagged the photo with our clients name so it was easy for me to find the post. Plus she made a great photo that fits our client’s brand and looks beautiful with her Halo Fab Blow Out.)



Infographic credit: AdWeek Infographic based on Experian study

What are the best days and times to send your email marketing campaigns?

According to research from an Experian email marketing benchmark study, the best open rates tend to be in the evenings Tuesday though Thursday, but these are only general guidelines. When working with our client’s specific email lists we test different times and compare open rates. But if there is a call to action including a phone number to make an appointment we won’t send an email after closing time. For example, one of our clients best open and interaction rates comes with launch at 8pm, but the campaigns generate phone calls, and they are closed at 8pm, and so they can’t launch most campaigns at the peek time. So as with so many things in life, there’s no clear-cut answer–“It depends!”

From the study: “…recipients are surprisingly active late at night. Unique open rates averaged 21.7 percent from 8 pm to 11:59 pm and 17.6 percent for 12 am to 4 am. Moreover, this late-night group was more likely to click through, with open rates of 4.2 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively. These night owls also had the highest click-through rates for all times of the day. Revenue per email was also the highest in the 8 pm to 11:59 pm group. Additionally, more than 54 percent of emails are now opened on a mobile device.

Green Dahlia Wall Clock available in Rachel’s Society6 shop
dahlia scallops green and white wall clocks


+ Free ad from Google!*

Google My Business Listings are free and an essential component of any modern company’s online marketing.

  • Being listed gives you a boost in organic (un-paid-for) search results and therefore leads to more traffic.
  • You can set up multiple service areas if you have more than one location so your customer sees the closest location when they look for you.
  • Connects directly to Google Maps so your customers can easily find your location on their mobile devices.
  • Makes it easy for your customers to leave reviews for your business.
  • Adds credibility to your business when your business is properly listed, with hours, photos, videos, service descriptions, etc.

Google My Business Listings show on the right side of a Google search engine page.  Please see the sample listing For Halo Blow Dry Bars.

*Now, Google is offering a free ad posts which shows within your listing.  Please see the Keratin ad on the sample listing.

Ads can be up to 300 words, include a graphic, and a call to action: “Learn more,” “Reserve,” “Sign up,” “Buy” or “Get offer.”

Ads are designed to be dropped from the listing after one week, but if you want an ad to run continually, we’ve got a work-around to do so.

We manage the Google My Business Listings for several clients and are contacting them about adding a promotion.

Please contact John to set up your business listing – or to add one of these new promotional resources to your existing listing.



Our Non-responsive Websites

We love the websites we have worked on and maintained through the years.  And we are grateful for all our clients who trust us with their website projects.  But, there’s no more need  for a portfolio to contain non-responsive sites.  So, even although these sites are still working for our clients, we are moving non-responsive sites from our website portfolio to this post for posterity.  So even though these websites are still working for our clients (some for over a decade, wow!), we need our portfolio to show sites which work on mobile devices.

Here they are, likely our final non-responsive website projects:

Built in 2007.  We love that when we visit AT&T Park, we see their work.

Built in 2007.  George and Kerrie are the best cut and color team out there!

We started working with Donna in 2013.  We still love the look of this site.

Homeowner Association Websites

These sites follow the same template so the property management company can offer their HOA clients sites at a lower cost, have site samples to demo as a sales pitch, and simplify the development process.  Each site has a password-protected area for HOA members with an events calendar, group e-mail and messengering, work-order forms, HOA policies, board meeting information and more.

HOA Websites

Made in 2011.

Another ten year old site going strong!

Running since 2012.

Built in 2008.




Artisan Macarons

Thank you, HPD Public Relations, for introducing us to Chef Alex and Artisan Macaron.  It’s been a fun project, and a tasty one because you gave us samples too!

Artisan Macaron needed some brand standards, so we started with new fonts, and finalized colors for print and web.  Moving forward, they have a brand package, so all designers and employees have access to the same branding elements for cohesive marketing collateral.

New Fonts


We made new business cards, special offer folded mini-tent cards, a tri-fold brochure, and two large banners.  My favorite part of this project was combining photos of individual macaron vignettes into collages making them look like they were all photographed together.  The collage for the tent cards is in the header above, and this is the inside of their new tri-fold brochure:

Macaron MenuIs your mouth watering yet?  (The salted caramel is to die for! This from someone tiring of this food trend, but Chef Alex knows how to get that perfect caramel bittersweet taste.  Naturally [wink!], I had to sample many macarons during the design process.)

All brand ingredients came together last weekend at a trade show in Long Beach (under the professional eye of Hope Daly, PR Queen.)  We heard all the new items looked great.

Trade Show Display