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What my dog taught me about marketing

By Dave McGurgan | @dmcgurgan

They say dogs are man’s best friend, and my dog Augie was indeed my close confidant and ever-loyal pal. Our relationship evolved over the years into a deep connection. For nearly 16 years, Augie was there for me, day after day. 

I’d like to share some of the things that Augie taught me, including the values on which Four Dog Creative is built. Drawing on these lessons, I’ve derived some key marketing takeaways from which every business can learn.

Nine super-talented book cover designers

By Kelly Carter

The ninth month is my birth month, so I’ve always considered it a lucky number. Nine is the number of states I want to live in before I die (I’ve done five so far). It’s the number of dogs I want to have at one time (I know, crazy, right?). Instead of moving or increasing our herd, I’ve decided to start blogging lists of nine. 


As an avid reader, I’ve always thought the ultimate job would be for someone to pay me to read books all day. I wouldn’t want to edit them, because I’m not an editor. I wouldn’t want to review them, because I’m not a reviewer. As a designer, my second choice for an ultimate job would be for someone to pay me to read books every few days, then to design the covers in between.

Here are some of my favorite book cover designers, who do amazing work, some of which you’ve probably seen on the bestseller lists.

Top 20 tools to create social media visual content for the web and social networks

By Dave McGurgan | @dmcgurgan

“The web is becoming increasingly visual.” It’s something that we tell our customers and our prospects every day. With the rapid adoption of mobile devices and increased download speeds, more people are consuming more images (and video) than ever before

As social media marketers, it’s our job to help brands and organizations connect with their audience and one of the primary ways we do that is to create social media visual content for both the web and social networks (which, by the way, are well on the way to becoming one and the same). 

Here are some of our favorite tools that we use to create social media visual content both for Four Dog Creative’s own marketing efforts and on behalf of our customers as well.

Social media engagement: Brands should be talking with customers, not at them

By Dave McGurgan | @dmcgurgan

What you’re able to read is something that I originally wrote four years ago, in 2012. At that time, many organizations still had trouble accepting the fact that they no longer were in charge of the conversation. 

The fact that customers could talk about companies and brands and their experiences with them, was a frightening reality to upper management. 

It might seem absurd in 2016 that some companies still question the value of being on social media. Yet, they still exist. For now anyway.

Social media policy for employees should be built on trust

By Karl Smith | @coachkarlpa

One thread that’s followed me through my career has been trying to connect things. I did it as a reporter, an editor, a designer, a website GM and all through my time as a manager and executive. 

So no surprise that I worked to connect to pieces I’ve read, both via Hootsuite. Both involved social media policy for employees, but they didn’t carry the same message. Or maybe they did. I guess it all depends how you connect them.

Top 10 social media tools for small- and medium-size businesses

By Dave McGurgan | @dmcgurgan

Emerging Media - Twitter Bird

Photo courtesy of mkhmarketing(CC Attribution)

There are many, many choices when it comes to selecting the best social media tools for your business. Pricing on these tools varies widely, from those offering free or freemium versions, to some with hefty price tags.

If you’re just diving into social media and assembling your toolkit, or if you’re doing an audit of your current tool lineup, here are 10 great tools that come in less than $100.00.

Four Dog Creative: A refreshing approach to doing business

By Dave McGurgan | @dmcgurgan

Thank you for checking out Four Dog Creative. We are a DIY creative agency. DIY is important to us and those we serve because it represents a new and different way of doing business. By using a DIY approach and bootstrapping our business it allows us to truly be nimble and avoid the bloat that often slows down the creative process, turnaround times and how efficiently we can get things done for the people and organizations we’re serving.

It pays to be kind in business: Relationship building

By Dave McGurgan | @dmcgurgan

Relationship building: It pays to be kind at work

Relationship building: Every office and workspace needs it. Photo courtesy of f_mafra(CC ShareALike)

What I’ve found is that whether you’re with family, with work colleagues or interacting with a waiter, someone you have just met or dealing with a customer representative on the phone, you should be nice to them. What you get in return is rather remarkable.

My grandmother, who would introduce me to every neighbor she knew and that we saw during our frequent walks, taught me this: Be kind.

Research from the Human Cooperation Lab at Yale has validated that being nice at work “creates bonds among people and makes them not want to cut each other down.”

Hack the Entrepreneur: Getting past the fear of failure

Now is the time to become an entrepreneur

Photo courtesy of uberof202(CC ShareALike)

By Dave McGurgan |@dmcgurgan

As the work world has changed dramatically with the changes brought forth by the Internet, there is no better time than now to become an entrepreneur. This is the basis of Jon Nastor’s book, “Hack the Entrepreneur.”

Nastor’s approach is to present insights from some of the more than 200 entrepreneurs he has interviewed for his podcast, also named Hack the Entrepreneur. These bite-sized nuggets of knowledge are then expanded upon by Nastor, who adds his own clearly-written insights.