FortySeven Media

Articles in Business

Jonathan Longnecker

Jonathan Longnecker

March 11, 2013

So we made some T-Shirts

For Christmas last year, Nate and I wanted to do something special for our clients. We pondered and thought and decided, “what better way to show our clients we love them than to send them a custom designed t-shirt that says we love them!?!?!?!” Clearly because we are geniuses.

After much sketching, hand crafting and designing we came up with “Two Hairy Guys in Tennessee Love Me.”

two hairy guys in tennessee love me
Look at those two burly dudes!

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Jonathan Longnecker

Jonathan Longnecker

March 05, 2013

Nate Croft

Nate Croft

February 13, 2013

Chasing Your Dreams

Like our strange little dentist friend in the picture above, we all want to be that happy doing the work we have dreamed about doing. Most of us come preinstalled with a desire to do work that we enjoy. It is as if we know that it is possible to provide for ourselves and not hate doing so.

Unfortunately, most of us are also completely terrible at pulling this off. Even if we have pretty good jobs that we mostly like, it seems like that magical dream job is always dangling just out of reach. Why is that?

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Jonathan Longnecker

Jonathan Longnecker

February 01, 2013

ConvergeSE 2013 Tickets On Sale - Come hang out with 47m!

ConvergeSE 2013
The Yeti!!

It's that time of year again, folks! Our favorite conference, ConvergeSE is back and the tickets are on sale now. They sold out in about 2 hours last year so speed it up and get on over there. Converge will be held in Columbia, SC on April 25-27.

We're super excited because this year we are doing a Kicktastic workshop on the first day of the conference. It will be a blast, we promise!

So go get your tickets now before they're gone. Trust us,  you need to come to ConvergeSE 2013.

Register Now

Jonathan Longnecker

Jonathan Longnecker

January 07, 2013

Seth Godin’s Pick Four Workbook

In case you hadn't heard, we're shooting for this year to be our Best Year Ever at FortySeven Media. While we were doing our planning for 47m, Kicktastic and Bright Newt with Austin, he pulled out a curious looking, sprial bound notebook with a bullseye on the front. “What is this madness?” I asked and he replied, “Why, it's Seth Godin's planning workbook, of course!”

Pick Four 4-pack
Share those puppies!

Being a Seth Godin fan I ordered the 4 pack immediately, but only recently got to sit down and look through them with my wife as we planned for this next year. It's a really simple concept, based on a program from Zig Ziglar - you take some time to identify goals that are the most important to you, make sure you are balancing between work, home, fitness, money, etc…, and then pick the 4 most important ones to work on for the next 12 weeks

The book is setup for daily notes on each goal, and that's why I think it's such a great idea. Often wanting to do something like “start a new business,” or “loose weight,” take time. Lots of time. And it's easy to get discouraged or forget about it or get halfway done. But if you're spending at least a few minutes each day on your goal, then you can't help but make progress, right?

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Jonathan Longnecker

Jonathan Longnecker

December 13, 2012

UMS Live Presents “It’s Business Time” with the Kick Awesome Show!

UMS Live - 4 Hours of Live Podcasting
Yeah that's right. Four Whole Hours.

Here's the deal - Unmatched Style is doing a 4 HOUR live podcast on Friday, December 14th. That's right, 4 hours of really smart people talking about business, the web and super cool stuff. And by really smart we mean Gene Crawford, Carl Smith, Dan Mall, JD Graffam, Jon and Chris of ZurbNathan Peretic and Jay Fanelli. Somehow we got thrown in the mix, too.

Here's the cool thing, though - this will be the first time Nate Croft, Jon Longnecker and our new Kicktastic partner Austin Church will be discussing businessy things live on the internet. You will laugh. You will cry. You'll probably never talk to us again. Or  you might just fall in love with our weirdness.

But you won't know for sure unless you tune in Friday at 1pm EST. 

Go Listen!


Jonathan Longnecker

Jonathan Longnecker

November 30, 2012

EllisLab, Your Brand & Your Business

For those of you in the ExpressionEngine universe there was a lot of “hot drama” the beginning of this week. Brand new websites, sweeping licensing and support policy changes, taking down the whole Pro Network without any prior notice. I'm not going to try to analyze anything that EllisLab is doing because quite frankly their business is their business (see what I did there - you know you giggled).

However, I do think that this whole situation sheds light on the importance of building your own brand and not basing your business entirely on top of someone else's.

Your Brand

We've worked hard at FortySeven Media to create a brand that stands on it's own regardless of the CMS we use. We write on this blog, go to conferences, do silly web video shows, and all kinds of other projects that don't make money, but help build our brand. We also do great work for our clients and they spread the word.

And while we love ExpressionEngine, we don't just do EE development - we bring branding, design, marketing and consulting to the table as well. The technology is just a means to the end of an amazing final product for our customers. It's tempting to piggy back off of something like EE's success and build your business solely around it, but you have no control if they make drastic changes.

If the news this week is pulling the legs out from under you, maybe it's time to step back and focus more on your brand and how you're different from all those other EE shops.

But that's not the whole story. Because while our brand doesn't live or die by ExpressionEngine and web design work, a good chunk of our income does.

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Nate Croft

Nate Croft

November 02, 2012

You can build a business or you can build a prison.

Many of you that are reading this blog own your own companies, or are working for yourself in some form or fashion. Most likely we share a common dream, the freedom of working for ourselves! We serve no master, take no orders, and wear no pants! Ok, maybe we wear pants. Maybe. We started out on this journey full of ambition and with the highest of hopes. We, my friends, are free to shape our own destiny.

What do we do with all this freedom? Well, most of us make shackles. 

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Jonathan Longnecker

Jonathan Longnecker

September 17, 2012

Requiring an On-Site Kick Off Meeting for New Clients

Recently we’ve been pondering a new requirement for large web jobs with FortySeven Media: face to face time.

I know, we keep talking about how the internet has made the world flat and we can work with anyone from anywhere and that’s very true. But lately we’ve been wondering if it’s such a good thing to cut ourselves off so cleanly from human interaction.

They’ll get to understand you, what you believe in, your humor and all sorts of other subtleties that don’t come across in an email.

We see a couple of benefits to working on-site with a new client for a day or so when kicking off the project:

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Jonathan Longnecker

Jonathan Longnecker

August 09, 2012

Institute a Company Day!

Let’s face it - between client work, social media, email and the zillion other things we need to do it’s easy to get stuck in a grind. Nate and I noticed a couple of years ago that we were so busy with everything else that we were neglecting our business.

Right, that makes sense. You're spending too much time working, but you're neglecting your business?

No, see what I mean is that we weren’t taking the time to plan, grow and market the way that we should. If all you do is the work that comes in your door you don’t get a lot of say in where you’re going. In fact, you’re probably just stuck in the house.

So we instituted FortySeven Media Mondays! Once a week Nate and I get together, plot and plan and take a look at the big picture of our company and where we want to go.

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Jonathan Longnecker

Jonathan Longnecker

July 30, 2012

Live Kick Awesome Show at Converge Florida this October

Converge FL
R2D2 Loves You

It's no secret we love the Converge conferences. And wouldn't you know it, there's another one coming to Florida in just a few months! We had the honor of doing a live Kick Awesome Show at the last Converge conference and we've been invited back along with live tapings of Bizcraft and the Non-Breaking Space Show

So! If you want to attend one of the best web conferences around and see some awesome live shows go and get registered for Converge Florida October 4th -5th 2012. Tickets go on sale August 1st for $200. We'll see you there.

Register for Converge Florida

Jonathan Longnecker

Jonathan Longnecker

July 16, 2012

How We Built a Recurring Billing Video Training Site with ExpressionEngine, Membrr, Vimeo & Stripe

We’ve had a few people ask us how in the world we built Kicktastic, our video business training project, so we thought we’d tell you.

Real quick - what is Kicktastic?

Kicktastic is unconventional video training for gutsy businesses. Every month you'll get fresh content in the form of a main topic video, transcript and resources, and related video tips. We'll be interviewing the smartest minds in the business and refining it down into info packed, entertaining videos that don't waste your time. Plus, each video has its own discussion thread below so members can ask questions, share their stories and help each other out.

Pretty straightforward, right? Well, not so much. If you’ve ever tried to build a video training platform that takes recurring payments, and do this for under $1,000 in expenses (minus the time to build/design of course) things get a little nutty. Let’s look at each piece.

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Jonathan Longnecker

Jonathan Longnecker

June 15, 2012

Kicktastic - Unconventional Video Training for Gutsy Businesses

We're so excited to announce the official launch of Kicktastic!.

Why did we make it?

  1. Running a business is really hard. There's no way you and I can know everything there is to know about it in and of ourselves. 
  2. Most business training is long, boring and one sided. We wanted to change that.
  3. You need to make more money.

What is Kicktastic?

Kicktastic is unconventional video training for gutsy businesses. Every month you'll get fresh content in the form of a main topic video, transcript and resources, and related video tips. We'll be interviewing the smartest minds in the business and refining it down into info packed, entertaining videos that don't waste your time. Plus, each video has its own discussion thread below so members can ask questions, share their stories and help each other out.

The first video series is by us, and it's called Branding, Attention & the Power of Video. You'll see how we've branded, marketed and used video to increase our profit over 50%!

This is obviously a lot of work, so it won't be free, but you'll have access to all the videos, books, transcripts and everything else we create for you as long as you're a member. The entrie site is responsive as well, so you can train on the go!

Interested? It's time to level up your business powers. Let's do this!

Learn More About Kicktastic

Jonathan Longnecker

Jonathan Longnecker

June 13, 2012

Don’t Be Scared, Change Things Up

Jon Yelling
Vanquish the foe of fear. WIth your kids's super hero mask.

We’re currently doing some “interior” work on FortySeven Media - changing very fundamental things about how we work, collaborate and make money. We’ve basically done the same thing for quite a few years. Everything’s going ok. Why upend everything?

Because things were feeling too safe. We weren’t challenging ourselves nearly as much as we used to. And while incremental updates to processes and tools and contracts are fine, we got to a point where it was time to start fresh.

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Jonathan Longnecker

Jonathan Longnecker

May 29, 2012

Adam Savage: Why We Make

Inpiring talk by Adam Savage's talk at Maker Faire Bay Area 2012. He tells a great story about his Indiana Jones hat, how he got started building his obsessions, and why makers should embrace the things that they have no choice but to make.

Jonathan Longnecker

Jonathan Longnecker

May 10, 2012

Why We Loved ConvergeSE 2012

Converge SE 2012
Hello awesome robotic dinosaur of destruction!

Nate and I had the pleasure of attending (and speaking) at ConvergeSE a few weeks ago, and while it's a little late for one of those “I take meticulous notes from every speaker and put them in one massive blog post” deals, I had to let everyone know what a great time we had.

Let's get this out of the way: ConvergeSE was by far the best conference we've been to. The talks were great, the workshops covered all sorts of interesting topics, but that paled in comparison to the people we met and the conversations that were had throughout the conference.

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Jonathan Longnecker

Jonathan Longnecker

April 03, 2012

Keeping Track of Potential Clients

If you're a small to medium sized web studio chances are you don't have a dedicated sales person. That's right, you get to do sales right along with taxes, accounting, client management, product managing - you get the idea. Oh, yeah and you have to actually do all the work and manage to get the site launched, too! No biggie.

One thing that we've often struggled with is that while your busy, you're not focused on getting new clients. But when you finish that massive job and there's nothing to work on - then you're like “Oh crap!” So here's two simple things to keep this from happening:

1. Don't stop looking for new clients, even if you're balls to the walls busy.

I know, your brain just doesn't want to deal with them. But jobs take a while to close. If you're not constantly talking to people you're going to have a lull in business. Maybe they won't even be ready until you're done with your current workload. You never know who's actually going to sign so don't count on anybody's word till they've signed a contract and given you a deposit.

Often times we don't even put a full quote together, just a rough idea to see if they're really interested. And if you end up taking on too much, you can always get some contractors to help out.

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Nate Croft

Nate Croft

March 15, 2012

The World Needs Your Side Projects

Many of us have side projects. You know, that thing you work on when your “work” is done for the day. We have them too. They are a great way to play with something new or build that cool idea thats been bouncing around your head. They can even be your masterplan to escape the clutches of that boring life you seem to be stuck in. 

We are currently working on one now, it's called Kicktastic. We thought it would be a good opportunity to turn our experience running a successful business into a product to help other businesses grow into bigger markets and pick up better clients. And it will be. It's coming along nicely and will be out sooner than we are ready for it to be, to be perfectly transparent.

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Jonathan Longnecker

Jonathan Longnecker

February 16, 2012

Redesigning the FortySeven Media Site - Part Uno

FortySeven Media New 2012

Note - I was going to have this all be one article, but it was too big and I don't want to bore you. So! Part Uno will focus on the design and stragegy while Part Dos will focus on the dirty technical details - from HTML5 & CSS3 to Responsive layouts and ExpressionEngine programming. Part Uno begins now:

Have you ever climbed to the top of a mountain, cooked a whole pound of bacon, ate it, hiked back down and built a mansion with your bare hands? That's what it felt like redesigning the FortySeven Media site.

Version 1 of was super gray and boring (seriously, it was gray). We were afraid to be ourselves and thought that in order to make it as a design studio we needed to be stuffy, businessy and impersonal.

FortySeven Media 2007
2007 - So much grey. Why oh why?

Next year we sat down and decided that if we were going to have our own company we should darn well act like it. With version 2 we overhauled the identity, made snarky pages like “Don't Hire Us,” created a blog and before we knew it, we were getting business from all over the place.

FortySeven Media 2008
2008 - The retro was strong with this one.

We had stumbled onto something, and quite frankly re-designing that kind of success is scary, especially when it provides for your family. The Lizard Brain was in full effect. We got talked about quite a bit when we launched the old site and we didn't want miss that magic this time around. Every time I sat down to work on it I just got overwhelmed. Could we make something nearly as iconic as the first go around? Turns out it didn't matter, because after waiting 4 years we were becoming obsolete. Don't get me wrong, the business was doing better than ever, but the jobs coming through the contact form were less interesting than they were a few years ago.

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Jonathan Longnecker

Jonathan Longnecker

February 13, 2012

FortySeven Media is Now Part of the Fusion Ad Network!

Fusion Ads
The MIghty Fusion Logo

We're very excited to announce today that we're becoming part of the Fusion Ads Network! So many of our heroes are part of this network that it would be foolish to start trying to name one or two. Seriously, just go check out the list. To say we're humbled and honored is an understatement.

We love the ethos behind Fusion - that only ad per page is allowed and that they encourage you to make it fit the style of your site.  Plus the products and services they're showing are razor focused towards you guys. Ads that are actually useful! Imagine that.

So, hey! If you see something over there that catches your eye it's ok to click. It helps us keep writing more posts, tutorials and deep (sometimes) thoughts. Thanks for reading!

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