Natalie Norcross Accepted Into Forbes Agency Council

Natalie Norcross, Founder and CEO of A Design Partnership, a marketing agency that represents design-minded clients, has been accepted into the Forbes Agency Council, an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies.

Natalie Norcross joins other Forbes Agency Council members, who are hand-selected, to become part of a curated network of successful peers and get access to a variety of exclusive benefits and resources, including the opportunity to submit thought leadership articles and short tips on industry-related topics for publishing on

Forbes Councils combines an innovative, high-touch approach to community management perfected by the team behind Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) with the extensive resources and global reach of Forbes. As a result, Forbes Council members get access to the people, benefits and expertise they need to grow their businesses — and a dedicated member concierge who acts as an extension of their own team, providing personalized one-on-one support.

Natalie is extremely grateful to join the ranks of Forbes Agency Council: “I’m very excited about this opportunity, which will give us an additional platform to not only share content that we feel so strongly about, but to interact with a community that is equally as passionate about marketing as we are. We are looking forward to this partnership, which will surely be beneficial on all counts!”

Scott Gerber, founder of Forbes Councils, says, “We are honored to welcome Natalie Norcross into the community. Our mission with Forbes Councils is to curate successful professionals from every industry, creating a vetted, social capital-driven network that helps every member make an even greater impact on the business world.”

About A Design Partnership

Over the past nine years, A Design Partnership has evolved into a dynamic group of brand designers and marketing experts who are passionate about helping design-minded companies exceed their goals, transform their brands and evolve their businesses. From hospitality-driven experiential marketers, to data-obsessed digital advertisers, the entire team is made up of design-savvy experts who know the industry, love their craft and are fanatical about helping clients grow. Visit for more details.

About Forbes Councils

Forbes partnered with the founders of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) to launch Forbes Councils, invitation-only communities for world-class business professionals in a variety of industries. Members, who are hand-selected by each Council’s community team, receive personalized introductions to each other based on their specific needs and gain access to a wide range of business benefits and services, including best-in-class concierge teams, personalized connections, peer-to-peer learning, a business services marketplace, and the opportunity to share thought leadership content on For more information about Forbes Agency Council, visit To learn more about Forbes Councils, visit

What is Lead Generation?

What is a lead?

If you do not know what a lead is, you are probably losing potential customers. One in the same, you are losing money. A lead is a marketing term for a potential customer. For some businesses, leads are people who walk by their storefront or see an advertisement in the newspaper and call to ask questions. In a more digital sense, a lead can also be a fan on social media who likes your designs, or saw a landing page and signed up to receive more information.

Every company, whether online or not, needs a lead generation strategy.

A lead is not necessarily a customer but someone who has the potential to be; they have passed through the awareness stage and now expressed interest. Leads are the beginning of an effective sales funnel, because from here they become prospects. The more leads a company has, more potential they have to close sales.

Companies invest money in learning more about their potential customers because they know the information holds the key to getting more clients. Once you know about these people you can reach out to them with phone calls, brochures, presentations, meetings, and promotions to offer them what they need to convert to a client.

Outbound vs. inbound

For most businesses, lead generation is an integral element in their sales strategy. These strategies are generally sorted as either outbound marketing or inbound marketing. Outbound strategies are much more direct. This includes tactics like making calls, sending emails, or setting up booths at a local festival.  Inbound strategies are help the general public become closer to the product and eventually become a lead. Inbound marketing is based on attracting potential customers and establishing lasting relationships through win-win relationships, where both the client and the business profit. These tactics include increasing efforts to improve SEO standings, building a portfolio, creating content, and building a user-friendly website. These strategies take more time, but they typically result in greater trust between the customer and company.

The best marketing plan applies a variety of inbound and outbound lead generation tactics.

In a world where we are bombarded with notifications, you have to know how to capture the attention of leads. Therefore, the strategy to attract them must be through relevant and quality content. The customer is no longer passive, but rather seeks to play a prominent role in what we are doing. Knowing the importance of lead generation can help you to take the right steps to improve opportunities.

7 ways to generate more Leads

1.     Use Social Media: This is one of our specialty strategies because in the design world, we love to show off our beautiful work. Use Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, G+, and other platforms to showcase your designs. Interested leads will click the links to your website or follow your company on your social media platforms.

2.     Content Marketing: If your page has traffic, you must have something to offer those leads. Give your guests something interesting to read or look at, and they will take note of your expertise. Generating content helps to have more followers which can generate sales or more leads. Here you can check how to create the best content for your site.

3.     Organic Web Traffic: Be one of the first names listed in Google, and your web traffic with skyrocket. If you are always adding content to your website, you will improve your search engine rankings. While there are a ton of algorithms and useful plugins to help, the most important is to make sure you are always updating your online content.

4.     Subscription forms in your posts: One of the most common ways to get leads is through subscription forms to the newsletter. Send blogs and news updates to your subscribers to keep them up to date.

5.     Change the title of your content: sometimes modifying the title of your content already published will serve to know what draws more attention to your audience. Run your headlines through a headline analyzer to get feedback on creating more engaging titles.  When you republish the content, search engines will mark your website as active, and it will also help to boost your SEO.

6.     Add a webinar to the home page: While this tactic can be difficult to execute at first, with practice, it is extremely useful. Offer free and practical information from anyone interested. Those who attend will trust your company more and will turn to you for additional information.

When you are ready to get serious about your lead generation strategy, you’ll want to spend some time analyzing all your data: website traffic, social media direction, generation of calls, ROI, etc. This part can get a bit complicated. At A Design Partnership, we help creative professionals in every stage of their marketing strategy.

Like what you read? Join our newsletter here for more exciting marketing ideas. To learn more about your brand’s marketing needs, schedule your brand consultation here.


When is it the Right Time to Outsource your Marketing

For most business owners, it is easy to try to take on multiple departments for the sake of running a business. Especially in the beginning, you are the accounting team, the managerial them, the CEO, and the marketing team. And luckily, there are many marketing basics you can do yourself. However, there will come a time when you cannot keep up with your marketing efforts, or your company has outgrown your marketing skills, and you realize you need to hire experts to handle the marketing for you. What are the signs that it is time to hire a marketing agency?

1.     You haven’t reviewed your web analytics in at least a month.

How many people visit your site monthly? Where do your visitors live? Do you need a mobile-friendly website? What websites or social platforms send traffic to your site? What tactics drive the most traffic to your website? Which pages on your website are the most popular? These metrics change regularly, and you need to watch them carefully. At a minimum, review them and draw conclusion monthly (if not daily) to track the progress of your marketing efforts. If it has been more than a month since you looked at your website analytics, it is time to outsource your marketing.

If you do not know how to access these metrics, you should have already outsourced your marketing.

2.     You “just do not have time” to write your blog or update your website.

Creating content and updating your blog is the minimum for your marketing strategy. It provides your audience value, increases your SEO, updates the status of your website, and gives your brand credibility. In fact, do not bother paying for Google Adwords if you do not have time to keep your online facade up-to-date.

We have great tactics for how to make content easier and faster. If after reading those techniques you are still struggling to keep up, it is time to outsource your marketing.

3.     You have messages in your social media that have gone unanswered for several days.

Your social media is your frontline and direct access to your audience. When you do not have time to answer them there, your fans assume they will find the same lack of service on-site of your business. You should aim to answer all messages within 3-8 hours. When your social media presence is small, it is not very hard to keep up. However, with proper social media marketing efforts, you will have many fans in no time. When you struggle to respond to your fans within 8 hours, it is time to outsource your marketing.

4.     You do not know your marketing ROI.

ROI stands for return on investment. Ideally, you should not only have outlined a marketing budget (this is the first thing we will ask you), but you should also be able to track the exact amount of sales or traffic is generated by each dollar. ROI is the fundamental metric for making sure your marketing efforts are worth what you are paying.

Give us a call, and we will be happy to explain how to calculate the ROI of your given efforts. If you stop tracking it, it is time to outsource your marketing efforts.

5.     You have not taken the time to consider your SEO strategy, or you do not want to keep up with the changing SEO rules.

Yes, it is the biggest complaint of SEO; the rules and metrics are always changing. It is true. We also have to spend time continually educating ourselves. However, Google is the most powerful marketing tools in the world, so your marketing team has to understand it. When you get sick of reading about SEO algorithms, it is time to outsource your marketing.

Like what you read? Join our newsletter here for more exciting marketing ideas. To learn more about your brand’s marketing needs, schedule your brand consultation here.