Our First Year: Highlights From 2015


How is 2015 completely over with already? Didn’t it just begin? I have no idea where the time goes, but as we approach Gab Communications’ first birthday at the end of this month, let’s take a look back at some highlights from the past 12 months.


unnamedWhen Kansas City-based children’s organic skincare company Comfrey & Clementines came on as one of my initial clients, owner Angela McGuire and I immediately bonded over our children’s skincare woes. At the time, my 18-month-old had been dealing with terrible eczema and skin allergies. Then, just like magic, Angela reached out to me about an all-natural product line she was creating for babies suffering from eczema and skin and food allergies.

Twitter Cover Photo1This was a fun project to work on for a number of reasons. One was that, as a mom, how can you not love Comfrey & Clementines’ business philosophy? Not only are their products organic, all-natural, and heavenly scented, but the concept behind them is one we can all relate to. Their story is our story. They want what’s best for their kids

Secondly, Comfrey & Clementines wanted to create a bright, bold product design that came off as cheerful, impressive and luxurious. It was our pleasure to take a few of Angela’s initial label concepts and transform them into one champion design. Today, you can find our designs for these skincare products on several children’s and all-natural food store shelves throughout the Kansas City area, as well as on Comfrey & Clementines’ website.


  • Web Content Development
  • Product Label Design
  • Sales Pitch Letter/Packet
  • Brochure Design
  • Business Card Design
  • Social Media Graphics

WINE ON THE WATER at KURTZ’S BEACHWOTW-Poster01From the very first time I attended Howard County’s Wine In The Woods, I always had the idea in my head of bringing a similar wine festival to Anne Arundel County – specifically alongside the Chesapeake Bay. A fun, whimsical idea was all it ever was, until I met with John Mason, the owner of Kurtz’s Beach, last spring. He was very enthusiastic about the idea, and pretty soon after we were meeting weekly to put the wheels in motion for the inaugural Wine On The Water at Kurtz’s Beach.

It was an absolutely ginormous undertaking, but with a lot of help we were able to bring this idea to fruition. Wine On The Water took place October 17-18, 2015, at Kurtz’s Beach and attracted over 5,000 attendees from all over Maryland, Virginia and D.C. We learned so much from putting on this event, and we can’t wait to organize an even better festival this upcoming fall.


  • Overall event support
  • Communications/marketing strategy and development
  • Website design (
  • Social media management
  • Promotions
  • Logo design
  • Event handout design
  • Ticket design
  • Email/customer support management
  • Vendor coordination
  • Sponsor coordination

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CHEDDA PAYROLL1442067782_52046835-6170754_Chedda-Payroll_logo

Chedda Payroll wanted to incorporate email marketing into their promotional campaign. Gab Communications assisted with email newsletter content strategy and development, editing and management.


  • Content strategy and development
  • Email newsletter management
  • Editing

KOOLHOF EARTHkoolhof-gala-graphicKoolhof Earth was founded by Pasadena, Maryland resident Eileen Koolhof Straughan to expand on her lifelong passion for the environment. The organization’s first Give Back Gala will be held in Baltimore this upcoming February and benefits the Benedictine Sisters by implementing energy saving retrofits in the Emmanuel Monastery.


  • Event logo design
  • Save-The-Date design
  • Invitation design
  • Letterhead design
  • Sponsorship form design



10 Creative Ways To Make Your Business Stand Out


As a small business owner, you’re constantly looking for ways to set your company apart. Maybe you’ve spent entire days perusing the internet or writing down possible ideas about the unique values you could begin to provide.

By classifying yourself as a small business, there’s already a unique value in place that is pretty much universally understood. That value is that you are likely to be more personal, more attentive and more flexible than that other big company or box store down the street.

Read More

Why Your Business Should Be On Google+

google+Several years ago, Google created Google+ as their response to Facebook. There are personal pages and there are business pages. Rather than having a “like” button, there is a “+1” button. There are also “circles” that are meant to connect friends and groups of friends.

While Google+ is pretty darn similar to Facebook in a lot of ways, not many people use it or have even heard of it. But that doesn’t mean it should be ignored (I mean hey – it’s Google, remember?).

Here are a few reasons why your business should definitely have a Google+ page.

It’s Google

Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second (let that one sink in). While for the most part each search commands something different, the fact is that Google loves Google and is going to pull from its own yard first.

Make Your Search Engine Listing Sparkle

Have you ever done a Google search for a type of business and found that some of those businesses had a lot of impressive, valuable information (reviews, virtual tour of their office/store,  all contact info, a few informative articles, posts, etc.) and others had next to nothing aside from their name and phone number? Which business did you end up following up with? Most likely you went with the one that had all their information on display.

Invite Feedback

Anytime you search for a business on Google, Google will automatically display a few recent reviews. By setting up a Google+ page, you’re also extending an invitation for everyone to review your business.

Push Content

I know, I know – another platform for pushing content. Just like with Facebook, Google+ enables you to post a status, photos, videos, etc. However, by posting on Google+, it’s pretty safe to say that Google is going to give the most influence on ranking to its own social media platform.

Need help?

Interested in having Gab Communications assist you with setting up and maintaining your Google+ page? Contact us and we’d be happy to help you out. Also, while you’re at it, check out Gab Communications on Google+.



For the last decade, Hayley has been leaving her mark creatively on small, independently-owned businesses through editorial- and design-based marketing strategies. As a believer in the art of storytelling and the influence of a strong brand, her goal is to unlock the value that all small businesses possess and use it to their advantage using creative, strategic marketing methods.


How Restaurants Can Step Up Their Inbound Marketing Game


Regardless of what kind of restaurant you own and how long it’s existed, I’m sure you have frequently thought about the different marketing methods you could use to effectively drive sales and get more customers through your doors.

Maybe you’ve exhausted all traditional outbound marketing methods. You know – the ads in print/radio/television, the coupons in direct mail pieces, the key chains and koozies you hand out at festivals and fairs, etc. I’m not saying that outbound marketing doesn’t work – it does for a certain audience. Generally speaking, the older the customer, the better chance you have of getting them into your restaurant or business through outbound marketing methods. This is really just because the older generation – I sometimes call them the “yellow pages generation” – is used to this form of marketing. So if they’re looking for a restaurant to dine at with their friends this weekend, they’re more likely to flip through newspaper ads or direct mail flyers.

But that’s enough about outbound marketing. What about inbound marketing, and how can you use it to bring new energy into your restaurant?


Let me give you a great example of how one locally-owned restaurant right up the street is using inbound marketing to absolutely dominate the neighborhood dining scene (many of my local readers will know right away exactly which restaurant I’m talking about).

1) They highlight the staff by telling their stories on social media. You know how you always see the same server or bartender every time you go into your favorite restaurant, but you’re not really sure what their background is? This restaurant spotlights one of their staff members each week on Facebook and even posts a picture of them as a baby/child, and then talks about what local high school they attended, where they played little league, what hobbies/interests they’re passionate about, etc. It really adds personality to the restaurant – and to all the frequent visitors (myself included), this is a very valuable creative marketing technique.

2) The use a trivia question to get people in the restaurant. One day a week they host trivia night, and as an incentive to get people to attend, they post a question early on in the day and everyone who answers correctly is entered to win a free appetizer or dessert. The only little catch? Those who answered correctly must be present at trivia night in order to be eligible for the free app or dessert. It’s brilliant.

3) They’re proud to show off their community spirit. From high school reunions to fundraisers for local schools, they not only host these events – they highlight them with photos, videos, press and more on their social media channels.

4) They connect and partner with other local businesses. The restaurant just recently teamed up with several local wedding vendors to host their first-annual bridal expo. What a fantastic way to get a very specific demographic (brides) into their doors to learn about how the restaurant can help them with catering, rehearsal dinners, cakes, signature drinks, etc.

5) They engage with their customers. If you came from way out of town just to dine at their restaurant, or if you’re celebrating a super significant occasion, then they’ll take your picture and highlight you on their social media pages. Again, just another cool little trait to add personality.

6) They don’t overly promote menu specials. Many restaurants don’t know what to post on their social media pages, so their go-to is usually just something along the lines of “Check out what our soup of the day is!” or “Happy hour starts at 4!! Come on in for half-price domestics and rails!” Blah, blah, blah. People get tired of this. Only post your specials when they are in fact really, really special.

Basically, restaurants can no longer afford to ignore inbound marketing. We live in a world that is completely immersed in social media, smartphones and mobile apps, and it’s no question that the millennial generation uses each of these tools to check out and keep up with your restaurant. Make sure your presence on these platforms provides something valuable – something your customer will actually return to. After all, as a restaurant, you want to provide an experience – one that delivers so highly that it leaves an impression on your guest. That’s what it’s all about anyway, right?

Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all inbound marketing plan that works for every restaurant, café, eatery, etc. Each strategy requires a little creativity, a lot of enthusiasm and definitely a good bit of knowledge about your customers. Need help coming up with some ideas? Let’s chat.

hayley-gable-bowermanFor the last decade, Hayley has been leaving her mark creatively on small, independently-owned businesses through editorial- and design-based marketing strategies. As a believer in the art of storytelling and the influence of a strong brand, her goal is to unlock the value that all small businesses possess and use it to their advantage using creative, strategic marketing methods.


Why Your Business Needs a Blog


“If you want to catch more fish, cast a wider net.”

Throughout my meetings with businesses over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed one common trait: As we first sit down to begin our conversation, they tell me they’re not really sure about the whole blog thing. More specifically, they don’t see how it can be of value to their business.

And hey, let me start off by saying that I get it – I get why they don’t get it. Especially with an older business that has primarily used traditional marketing (i.e. word of mouth, ads in the local paper), then I can certainly see why a blog might seem a little daunting or too cutting-edge. But the reasons a business should have a blog far outweigh the reasons it shouldn’t. Hold on to your hats folks, ‘cause I’m about to give you a brand spankin’ new perspective.


  1. It’s a promotional tool. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if your biz doesn’t have a blog (or if you’re not maintaining the one you have), then you’re missing out on free publicity. A blog is another method of putting your business’s name out there for everyone to come across. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you are – restaurant, independent consultant, photography, grocery store, consignment shop, etc. – a blog will promote your brand and amp up your online presence. Also, a recent HubSpot survey noted that companies that blog receive 97% more links to their website.
  1. It creates engagement. A blog is basically an open invitation for feedback from your audience. Great content is a magnet for comments, shares, likes, etc. Start off by writing an informative and interesting article about something related to your industry, and then share it on your social media pages. Your audience will do the rest!
  1. It shows off your expertise. You’re a professional and you want people to trust you, right? Blogging is a fantastic way to earn some of that trust because it puts your expertise, character, skills and creativity on full display. No matter what you think, your clients or potential clients really are genuinely interested in what you have to say. So show it off while earning some of their trust simultaneously.
  1. It makes you more valuable. Think about a few of your competitors. Do they have a well-maintained blog? Are they on top of any modern marketing methods that create a value for their customers? By staying on top of your blogging and marketing game, you’re setting a higher standard and creating more of a value for your clients.
  1. It fuels SEO. Blogging is the most natural way to optimize your site for search engines. You can shell out a small fortune to promote your page on Google, Facebook, etc. – or you can take the organic approach by creating consistent, valuable content that Google and other search engines will reward you for.

Still not sure if blogging could create value for your business? Call me, email me, text me, message me – I would love, love, love to chat with you about all the creative ways we could make a blog work for your biz.


hayley-gable-bowermanFor the last decade, Hayley has been leaving her mark creatively on small, independently-owned businesses through editorial- and design-based marketing strategies. As a believer in the art of storytelling and the influence of a strong brand, her goal is to unlock the value that all small businesses possess and use it to their advantage using creative, strategic marketing methods.

Email Marketing Do’s and Don’ts


Think email marketing might not work for your business? Think again. Check out these email marketing stats that were recently released by

  1. 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email. 
  2. 33% of email recipients open email based on subject line alone. 
  3. Roughly half of an email list will be active – either opening or clicking on emails.
  4. Subject lines fewer than 10 characters long had an open rate of 58%. 
  5. Personalized subject lines are 22.2% more likely to be opened. 
  6. For B2B companies, subject lines that contained “money,” “revenue,” and “profit” performed the best. 
  7. 64% of people say they open an email because of the subject line.
  8. 7 in 10 people say they made use of a coupon or discount from a marketing email in the prior week.
  9. 39% of marketers have no strategy for mobile email.
  10. 72% of B2B buyers are most likely to share useful content via email.
  11. Monday emails had the highest revenue per email. 
  12. 27% of consumers were more likely to say their favorite companies should invest in more email. 
  13. Emails that include social sharing buttons have a 158% higher click-through rate.
  14. Women click 10% more often than men on mobile emails. 
  15. 82% of consumers open emails from companies.
  16. 64% of decision-makers read their email via mobile devices.

So, what’s the recipe for a perfect email campaign? Here are a few do’s and don’ts to consider before sending off your next piece of communication.

– DO –

Craft a killer subject line. In email marketing, it’s almost always the subject line that causes people to open or delete your email, so putting the right combination of words together is pretty much imperative to the email’s overall success. If you’re not a marketing vocabulary genius, that’s totally okay. Here are a few tips for creating an effective subject line:


  • In the words of Don Draper (by the way, did anyone catch the Mad Men premier last night?), make it simple, but significant. Steer clear of lengthy or overly wordy subject lines. Those with 28-39 characters typically have the highest click-through rate.
  • Ask questions. If you’re sending out an email about an upcoming event or in-store sale, a few ideas could be: What are your plans this weekend? Or Want to know about something amazing happening Friday?
  • Be persuasive. Words like free, sale, party, event make for great marketing language.
  • Include a call-to-action. What do you want your audience to do? Make it clear whether you want them to go to your website, visit your store, sign up for a contest, etc.
  • Don’t be too sales-y or pushy in your subject line. The folks at MailChimp tell their customers “when it comes to email marketing, the best subject lines tell what’s inside, and the worst subject lines sell what’s inside.”

– Make the email design attractive. Whether you use a theme or hire a designer to develop a custom template, it’s important to stand out and look clean, vibrant and exciting.

– Set clear expectations. Sometimes I’ll open an email from a business and I’ll skim all the way down without finding any real purpose for the campaign other than just to plant their name in your inbox. Ahhhhhhh. Can I just stand on my soapbox for a sec and say that annoys the living heck out of me? What a surefire way to get people to either unsubscribe or report you as spam. Please don’t be that business. Make the point of your email clear from the get-go. An attention-grabbing subhead will usually do just the trick: “There’s Lots Going On At Katie’s Photography Studio This Month…Read On To See What We’re Up To!” or “XYZ Services, Inc. Was Just Awarded Small Business Of The Year! Check Out Our Major Accomplishment”

– Include a call to action right away. OK, so they’ve opened the email – what next? Be up front and clear about this. “Visit our website now through Sunday to get 40% off all orders!” or “Like us on Facebook to be entered into our spring giveaway!” are a few examples of effective calls to action.

– Send from a real person, not a generic company account. Guys, there’s absolutely nothing personal about sending from or This rings especially true for small businesses who set themselves apart by offering community-based, face-to-face relationships with customers. Bottom line: People will recognize an email from – making them much more likely to open it than if it were from an unfamiliar name or address.

– DON’T –

– Bombard your subscribers. Depending on the kind of business you run, keep emails to a minimum. If you offer daily or weekly specials, one email a week is ideal. If you offer occasional specials, deals or news (seasonal, monthly, etc.), once or twice a month works just fine. Any more than this and you’re taking the risk of just flat out annoying your subscribers.

– Write lengthy, wordy paragraphs. People will skim through your email, so this is not the time or place to write a novel about your latest sale, achievement, new hire, store opening, big event, etc. Keep it short and to the point. Use bulleted or numbered lists, and limit paragraphs to 2-3 sentences tops.

– Forget to include crucial information. Don’t forget to include your contact information (all phone numbers and email addresses), links or social sharing icons to your website and social media pages.


hayley-gable-bowermanFor the last decade, Hayley has been leaving her mark creatively on small, independently-owned businesses through editorial- and design-based marketing strategies. As a believer in the art of storytelling and the influence of a strong brand, her goal is to unlock the value that all small businesses possess and use it to their advantage using creative, strategic marketing methods.

Ways To Boost Your Business’s Social Media Presence Right Now


Morning Coffee with Gab is a weekly feature aimed to inspire and encourage small business owners to get on top of their organization’s marketing game. So before your day gets crazy, grab that cup o’ joe and give this a quick read – we’ll get your day off to a great, motivating start!

 Ways To Boost Your Business’s Social Media Presence Right Now

Use images. People are visual, and if you’re only posting text or links on your social media pages then your audience will surely get bored. There’s no need for you to be a professional graphic designer who can use every Adobe program with your eyes closed, but you should be able to consistently post simple, high quality photos of your products, services, etc. Invest in a decent camera and aim for photos that spotlight your products/services in a setting and background that isn’t overly busy. Want to touch up those photos with a super easy-to-use and free photo editing program? I swear by

Use the power of storytelling. This is a really effective tool for your social media marketing because it’s a surefire way to persuade people and call them to action. Have you ever been sucked in to watching an entire infomercial on TV because it began with someone’s real-life story – maybe even one you could relate to somehow? That’s why infomercials work – they tell a story. Your job is to tell a story, too – it could be yours or it could be your clients’. If you own a salon, take some before-and-after shots of a client’s hair and ask them for the story behind it. Why did they want this change and why did they hire you to do it? If you own a restaurant, promote your front of house staff by telling their stories (where they went to school, what their favorite dish off the menu is, why they enjoy working there, little-known fact about them, etc.).

Be interactive. This seems like an easy one, but the sad truth is that there are too many businesses out there today that have social media pages (as well as a significant following) that have gone stale because of their lack of engagement. Listen up: If people choose to like/follow you, this means they genuinely want to hear from you. Don’t let them down. Throw out an occasional fun question of the day, survey, etc. and see what your audience has to say. Also majorly important is that if someone asks a question or makes a comment that invites your response, be sure to reply to that person in a timely fashion. In this day and age, there is such a thing as social media etiquette (which we’ll cover in another post) and it should definitely be followed.

Evoke emotion. Any content that evokes emotion from your audience is almost always more likely to generate shares or retweets. So, how do you do this? Tell stories (see above) about your customers that have a happy ending. Infuse a little bit of your personality through each of your posts, and use emotionally-charged, descriptive words. Whatever you write should light a fire in people and ultimately inspire, motivate and entertain them.

Be consistent with your posts. Two to three posts per week is ideal for a small business, but if you really want to step up your game, make it five to seven times per week and see just what happens. Come up with a list of a few creative post ideas, think a little strategically about the kind of response you want, when you should post them each, etc. and then schedule them via a social media management program such as HootSuit, Sprout or Buffer. Not feeling up to it or don’t have the time? Contact us today and we’d be happy as a clam to do this for you.


For the last decade, Hayley has been leaving her mark creatively on small, independently-owned businesses through editorial- and design-based marketing strategies. As a believer in the art of storytelling and the influence of a strong brand, her goal is to unlock the value that all small businesses possess and use it to their advantage using creative, strategic marketing methods.



Five Ways To Write An Effective About Us Page For Your Business


Often times when business owners sit down to draft content for their website, they begin with what they think will be the easiest. Typically this is the “About Us” part of their site, which actually ends up being the part they spend the most amount of time on because they’re unsure of 1) how exactly to go about writing it (as far as style, tone, technique, perspective, etc.), 2) the impression they want to give, and 3) how to be compelling and get their overall message across.

This is an extremely important part of your website that you do not want to neglect.

how_to_write_an_effective_about_us_page3Why? People are seeking a window to connect with you – a window to find something in common or just a way to bond. Your story is that window. So while the rest of your site may come off as dry or technical, your About Us story is a chance to prove that you are human, you are personable and you are charismatic.

Let’s talk for a second here about the standard, cookie-cutter business bio that you’ll find on most company websites.

“JohnDoe Services was founded in 2007 and has become a national leader in providing broad spectrum computer consulting services. Our team of experts utilizes the latest technologies to ensure customized solutions for each of our clients. JohnDoe Services continues to grow by being an innovative, full-service IT company that puts its customers first. Contact us today!”

Does this bio humanize the business at all? Does it give it a face? No. It’s dry, it’s not engaging, and doesn’t even tell a complete story. Lame, right?

So I know what you’re thinking: How do I even begin to tell my business’s story in a way that doesn’t come across as lame?

Here is your answer.

  1. Start off by jotting down in two-three sentences the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE and WHY of your business.
  • Who established the business?
  • What is the business? What does it do?
  • When was it founded?
  • Where is it located? What areas does the business provide service to?
  • Why are you in business? Why do you do what you do every day?
  1. Establish a tone that is conversational.

Pretend that you’re out at a restaurant, you run into an old friend and they ask what you’re up to with your career these days. What would you say and how would you say it? Write down your response. When you weave this response into your final draft, make sure the tone is relatively consistent with the rest of the content on your site.

  1. Show some personality and have some fun.

Offer your audience a way to connect with you by having some fun answering these questions.

  • How did you really get started with this business? Is there some back-story or special circumstance that got you to where you are today?
  • Was there ever a turning point when your business decided to change direction?
  • What sets you apart from others in your industry? Why should people call you and not the other guys?
  • Is there one moment throughout the history of your business that captures its essence in a nutshell?
  • Who are the employees behind your company? What makes them so awesome?
  • What do you specialize in? What are you really, really, really good at?
  • Is there a famous quote or saying that you or people in your business often have about something?
  • What’s a fun fact about your business that many may not know?
  • What makes you credible? What are your certifications, awards, honors, etc.?
  1. Be authentic.

Whatever you do, don’t try to be something or someone you’re not. If you’re a startup, own it. If you’re a small, family-owned business, flaunt it. If you have a hugely successful business, back it up with facts – tell everyone why. Just don’t add fluff to make it seem like you’re somebody else. Use it to your advantage to be who you are.

People love authenticity. Be creative by showing before-and-after shots of your business. What did your office look like way back when? What does your workspace look like now? If you’re business is in a transitional phase (relocating, remodeling, adding staff members, etc.) then talk about it (just don’t forget to go back and update it once the transition has been complete).

Showing off a generic photo of your staff is okay, but how about adding a few candid shots of your team members at their desk or out and about performing their job? Again, be real with people. Show everyone that you’re genuine.


  1. Show off your passion for what you do.

 Think back to a time when you helped out a client and afterwards thought to yourself “This is exactly why I love what I do.” You guys, this is called passion – and it’s very important for everyone to know about!

When people know that there’s a heart and soul behind the work they need done, they are more inclined to hire you. Make this an essential part of your business’s story.

To summarize, your business’s story should be accurate, engaging, interesting and authentic. Need help crafting or re-crafting your business’s About Us page? Contact us today and we’ll get to work making the most out of this crucial section of your website.


For the last decade, Hayley has been leaving her mark creatively on small, independently-owned businesses through editorial- and design-based marketing strategies. As a believer in the art of storytelling and the influence of a strong brand, her goal is to unlock the value that all small businesses possess and use it to their advantage using creative, strategic marketing methods.










Why Your Business Needs Content Marketing

But what is content marketing really? How is it different from traditional marketing methods? It probably doesn’t apply to my business, right?

These are questions we’re asked almost every day, so don’t feel alone if you’re wondering what the definition of content marketing is. Content marketing is any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers. This information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, etc.

What we’ve found is that most small businesses are creating and sharing content, but they are doing so without any real strategy behind it. In other words, they’re just posting things just to post them. This doesn’t work out well if the business has any specific goal they’re trying to achieve. What makes it successful, however, is determining your strategy and purpose up front, and communicating the right message at the right time using the right platform.

A lot of folks have a difficult time coming up with unique content (just Google or Pinterest it and you will get a crazy ridiculous amount of search results for “blog content ideas” or “marketing content ideas”). The truth is, we all get stuck every once in a while when it comes to digging up new ideas. But let’s start with the very basics here by defining what “content” consists of.


There is an infinite amount of content marketing ideas that each of these action tools can produce. And guess what? Your business has access to ALL of them. Let me ask you a question: How many of these marketing tools are you taking advantage of right now? Probably not as many as you should be, and I totally understand because it is a lot to keep up with. Each of these are major timesuckers, especially if you want the result to be professional-grade and effective.

But why do you need content marketing?

These days, locally-owned small businesses are having a difficult time keeping up with the franchise next door. What small businesses can do to easily distinguish themselves is offer a personalized service to the community – the kind of service that the big-name box store simply cannot put forward. See, content marketing is a part of the service you offer your customers. And in turn, your customers will see the value in this service and stay loyal to your brand.

To summarize, here is why we are absolutely, completely, totally 100 percent certain your business needs content marketing:

1. You’re an expert in your industry and people need to know it.
You’ve spent years perfecting your trade – so share some of your knowledge while also letting everyone about your business. Write an informative article for your blog, host a webinar or seminar, write a list of answers to frequently asked questions, etc. Before you know it, your website or business will become the first place people visit when they need assistance.

2. Form an emotional connection with your community.
This is easily our favorite reason. People love to read what’s entertaining and exciting, and when businesses are consistent in delivering content that is interesting and attractive, a connection is made with the community. More than likely, that connection – if done effectively – will result in brand loyalty. Voila!

3. Build brand awareness.
So you’ve had your business for quite a while now, but you want to reach even more people than you currently are able to. This is pretty much everyone’s goal all the time, right? Content marketing is a way to build your brand – your reputation – as the number-one guy (or lady!) in your field. The more your business’s name is out there for everyone to see, the more likely it is to result in engagement, leads and conversions.

4. You don’t want to get lost in the clutter.
If you’ve been on the internet anytime in the last decade, you know pretty well that from the moment you sign in to anything there’s information being shoved in your brain at a rate of about 900,000mph. You guys, your business does not want to get lost in this hurricane of information. That’s why it’s so, so, so important to not just post something just to post it, or to send out a newsletter to subscribers without any real strategy behind it. People are sure to hit delete or unsubscribe or ‘x’ out if your content does not offer exciting, valuable, quality information.


Want to get started putting content marketing to work for your business? Not sure where to start? Contact us today.


hayley-gable-bowermanFor the last decade, Hayley has been leaving her mark creatively on small, independently-owned businesses through editorial- and design-based marketing strategies. As a believer in the art of storytelling and the influence of a strong brand, her goal is to unlock the value that all small businesses possess and use it to their advantage using creative, strategic marketing methods.

We Have Arrived

While Gab Communications has only just recently made its official business debut, the dream of planning, forming and successfully executing this company first happened long, long ago. Everyone has a story, right? Here’s mine.

It was 1996 and I was 10 years old when I designed, wrote and published my first newsletter completely on my own. It was geared toward kids who love their pets (Kidz’ Farm – yep, spelled with a ‘z’ for extra cool points), and there were about a dozen issues that I produced (using – brace yourself – Windows Paint) by printing copies from my parents’ home printer (sorry for using up all that ink mom and dad). My team of “freelancers” included none other than my little brothers and cousins, and my subscribers were my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and my best friend.

In retrospect, it’s easy to glance at an old, faded copy of that newsletter and think how beyond embarrassing and goofy it was. But the more I think about it, the more certain I am that the publication I created at 10 years old put me on the path to where I am today.

As I entered my teen years, my little kids-themed newsletter began to lose its luster, so I decided it was time to start my own retail business. I thought about what I was good at and enjoyed doing – which at that very microsecond in my preteen life was making jewelry. So I bought a domain, designed a website, published a catalog and began my first venture with ecommerce. To everyone’s semi-disbelief, that jewelry business I started at 12 years old was actually relatively successful. I had a business bank account, my own P.O. box, and people were sending me check after check in the mail. I even did my own PR and was featured in a 1999 issue of Girls’ Life magazine.

Throughout all this, I was constantly surrounded by a solid business team. Most parents would probably cringe at the thought of their 12-year-old starting an online business – my dad encouraged me, and my mom would sometimes let me skip algebra (my brothers and I were homeschooled) so I could work on my website or jewelry. (side note about algebra: I literally put off taking algebra in college – the only math course I needed for my major – until my very last semester because I despised it so, so very much. But I passed, and I’m happy to report that I have not once used algebra in my life since).

When it came time to decide on a college, I pretty much had it all mapped out. I’d major in communications, take a variety of classes that would introduce me to all related fields, take an internship in the field that interests me the most, and then have a job waiting for me as soon as I was handed my diploma. Easy as pie, right?

Not exactly. The year was 2008 and our country was in the middle of the economic downfall known as the recession. Companies across the nation were slashing budgets and cutting jobs relating to everything I had spent the last four years studying – journalism, marketing, public relations, etc. A few semesters before I was set to graduate, I took an internship with Clear Channel Radio (93.1 WPOC) in Baltimore doing radio marketing and promotions. Was it an awesome experience? Yes. Did I get to go backstage to hang out with Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts and Joe Nichols? Yep. Did I learn a lot about what goes on behind the scenes in radio? Yes again. Was it what I wanted to do with the rest of my life? Not really.

There’s certainly a lot of learning that goes on during college, but I think I learned the most after college. I came home with my diploma, but no glamorous job. I waited tables at a sports bar for a while – and let me just say that I think everyone should wait tables at some point in their life. Actually, I think it should be a required course for all communication majors because of the numerous valuable lessons it teaches – lessons that simply cannot be taught from a text book. It was a slimy, gross job that at times forced me to interact with some lowly people, but I’m genuinely glad I had that experience for a lot of reasons.

During the time I was busy waiting tables and applying for jobs, I found that I really missed writing and exercising all these natural skills and passions I’d had since I was little. It was around that time I read that a new community newspaper would soon debut in my hometown of Pasadena, and they were hiring paid freelancers. Within a matter of weeks, I was writing again.

I ended up taking as many writing assignments as I possibly could. I guess they liked me, because they hired me full-time as their assistant editor about a year later. Two years after that, I was promoted to managing editor, in which I oversaw the editorial department and all freelancers. I had the time of my life working there and being able to interact with and help promote local businesses on a daily basis. There were many days I went into the office well before sunrise and left well after dusk, not glancing at the time even once because I was so busy.

I grew up a lot during my six years at the paper – both personally and professionally. I was proposed to, planned a wedding, got married, bought a house, found out I was going to be a mom, had a baby, and then learned all that goes into balancing a full-time job and a full-time family.

Somewhere in the hurricane of getting through college, finding the perfect job, landing the perfect job, starting a family and maintaining the job, I lost a large piece of that creative entrepreneurial spirit I first discovered at 10 years old. Life was blowing past me at a thousand miles per hour and I wasn’t sure if I was totally in control anymore.

I wanted to reinstate that creative spirit, and I had a vision for making it happen. So, while today is the day you’re maybe first hearing about Gab, it’s actually been an idea for the last 18 years. And remember, all great projects, campaigns, events, businesses and stories start out as just that – an idea.

I’m so happy to share with you that this company, Gab Communications, is that idea and vision. We are here to help your business rise and conquer through creative, editorial-based marketing strategies. Have an idea for your business? Let’s make it happen. Contact me directly by emailing