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Meet Geoff Cummings | Owner

We are thrilled to be connecting with Geoff Cummings again. Geoff is the owner of On the Level Marketing & Consulting and is also a content partner. Content partners help Voyage in so many ways from spreading the word about the work that we do, sponsoring our mission and collaborating with us on content like this. Check out our conversation with Geoff below.

Hi Geoff, thank you so much for sitting down with us again. For folks who might have missed our initial interview, can you start by briefly introducing yourself?
My name is Geoff Cummings, owner of On the Level Marketing & Consulting.

I have a degree in Marketing and Communications from Aquinas College, in Grand Rapids Michigan. With over 35 years in customer service, my experience has afforded me in providing marketing for a Fortune 500 company and for a local non-profit company. Additionally, I have done marketing for silent auctions, political debates, managed over 200 employees, and started a local fraternal organization. I take great pride in everything I do.

Five years ago, I started On The Level Marketing & Consulting LLC, after a major life event that made me step back and look at my life. That was when I decided to make some life changes. I wanted to finally do what I have dreamed of doing for over 25 years. That was to have my own business. Designing logos and websites has been a passion of mine and what I have wanted to do, for some time. However, life takes you on a different path, sometimes, but now I am working towards my dream.

The name of my business has a significant meaning, but mostly it is how I believe a business should be done. I believe one should always be forthcoming and truthful – both in work and life.

We also have a great support system, and connections to assist with whatever marketing needs arise.

Quite simply…I want to help people.

Can you talk to us about the types of problems On The Level Marketing solves?
A lot of time, business owners try to save money by doing their own marketing. Some have the background to do this and actually do a go job, others don’t and it shows. When you are a business owner, is that the best use of your time though? On top of that, a lot of times when you are too close to something you can’t see outside the box. On The Level Marketing and Consulting help business Owners: save time.

What do I mean by that? Well if they are busy trying to do their marketing then they are not focusing on their clients and servicing them. You hire a CPA or tax person to do your taxes right? The same concept holds true to marketing your business. You need to make sure everything complements each other. You logos, colors, placement of the logo. There is a lot more that goes into marketing than people think.

I also work with my clients to stay within their marketing budget, the best I can. You don’t have to pay several thousand dollars to have a good marketing plan put together.

Finally, I help promote the businesses I do work for, by including their link and information on the partner’s page of my website.

Who is your target market?
For small to medium-sized businesses who know the value of having a solid, cohesive brand for their business. I am for business owners who know that setting aside a marketing budget is one of the most important aspects of their business. It should not be one of the first things cut when things get lean.

Although creating logos and a website is our primary business, I can do a complete branding package, get your business seen through many different avenues, and make it easy for your clients to leave you reviews/testimonials through repetitional marketing.

What makes you different from others in the space?
I believe in business the old-fashioned way.  I do what we say we are going to do and I do it for a reasonable price.  I listen to our clients, find out what their vision is, and then incorporate that into a logo or website that will be eye-catching and represent the business.

I communicate with the business owner throughout the whole project.  This is so they can see the progress and make any slight changes along the way.

I also have our own partners, so I can help in all aspects of your business.  I can help with your social media, reputation marketing, etc.  On The Level does its best to make it easy for the business owner.  Most important of all, you OWN YOUR content.  You paid for it you deserve it!

Can you share your mission statement and some thoughts about what matters most to you and your organization?
My mission statement is quite simple. I want to provide small to medium-sized businesses quality marketing at an affordable price. As the name of my business implies, I like to do things on the level, which is being upfront with clients listen to their needs, and then offer the best solution for those needs. All at an affordable cost to the client.

Quite simply I want to help businesses and their owners succeed, through their marketing, especially after this last year which has been devastating to a lot of businesses. When scrolling through the internet, I see so many websites with the following: they are so busy you have to click a half dozen times to get where you want to go if you can find it; they are half done; or they have not been updated in months, or years in some cases. Granted a lot of people use social media to find businesses, but there is typically a link to the website from there, and it’s also a kind of a verification to see if the business is legitimate.

Logos, some businesses don’t have them, others are so busy you can’t make them out. Think about the most recognizable brands in the world. Those brands have the simplest logos. When you see them you instantly know what the company is and what they stand for. Just because you are a local business doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an eye-catching logo. You never know when you will be the next big thing. Not to mention you have to take into account what the logo will look like on the web, on a building, on a shirt, and on letterhead. You also have to consider costs. The more detailed the more expensive it will be to create.

In all what matters most, is finding a happy medium between what the client wants and what will be a good marketing (ie. logo or website) strategy.

What are some objections you come across?
Here are some, but not all I have come across.

1. Marketing is too expensive!

Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. There is an old adage that says you get what you pay for. That is true to a certain extent, but with marketing, there are a lot of different things you can do.

You don’t have to pay thousands, or hundreds of thousands of dollars to get good, effective marketing. If you deal with a big marketing firm, will you get the same service with a smaller firm, at a lower price?

At On the Level Marketing, we sit down with our potential clients to find out their needs, what their budget is, and then we work around that. We are not going to give away the farm, but we will do our best to work with you.

2. I Don’t Need A Marketing Person. I Can Do It Myself.

This is true. If you are a creative person and have knowledge of Marketing; however, I know, even for myself, it is always harder to market something you are close to. It can be done, sure, but how effective are you. Sometimes, when you are too close to a project you can’t see beyond the forest. Not to mention, you are trying to run a business. Do you have the time? If you do is it quality marketing? So many times I go into businesses and see homemade signs. Not only is it tacky to have a homemade sign but a lot of the times there are misspellings, etc.

At On The Level Marketing, marketing is our business. We can see things you can’t. If you have marketing knowledge, we will most certainly do our best to take your visions into account, but in the end, you hire us to do your marketing. You always have the option to decline a design or find a new marketing company.

3. Paid For A Website, But Can’t Afford Monthly Maintenance

Again, On The Level Marketing is here to help you. If you are not wanting a monthly maintenance service for your site, and want to maintain it yourself, we are happy to walk you through how to keep the website updated.

Our philosophy is that we feel that if we treat our clients right, they will come back to us, and refer us. That is the best kind of advertising any business could ask for.

4. I Paid For My Logo. Then Had To Pay To Get Another Copy Of It.

This should never be the case. Period! You have paid someone to create that logo. Once you have paid for the services you should own all rights to that logo. If a marketing agency doesn’t give you full rights to the logo, then that is a red flag.

When On The Level Marketing creates a logo for our clients, they get the logo in multiple formats and it is theirs. They own it, not On The Level Marketing. All we ask is that we can display a sample of the work, on our website, which in turn provides the business additional advertising.

What are some additional benefits you give your clients?
We provide a free consultation to any protective clients. We like to meet with them either in person or by phone to find out what they are needing what their budget is. After that, we follow up with a proposal, based on that conversation. The client then has the choice to choose us or not. There are no catches.

As stated before, after On The Level marketing has created your logo, you will receive it in various file formats, and more importantly, you own those files. On The Level does not and will not hold your logo hostage. When we create or update your websites, we will train you on how to keep your website up-to-date; or, you can hire us on a weekly, bi-weekly, quarterly, or semi-annually to keep your website fresh and current. There is nothing more unprofessional than having a website that is not updated regularly.

Finally, we support our veterans and first responders. We give a 15% discount to Veterans, Police, and Firefighters. Thank you for your service!

Thank you so much again for sharing all of this with us. Before we go, can you share with our readers how they can connect with you, learn more or show support?
Yes, I’d be happy to. My website is onthelevelmktg.com, I am on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/otlmarketing, On Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/otlmarketing. I am looking to add one or two other, new, social media platforms, as a lot of people are moving to other alternatives. You can also email me at info@onthelevelmktg.com.

I am always willing to meet with people, as you never know where it can lead. I am also open to partnering with a printer to help do design work.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Leslie Brown Jr. Galleries Lazzzer Made, by Three Left Zero Skintastic All my work is on my website as well.

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