Make Your Brand Big for Free!

A man standing on top of a rocky mountain

EDIT: This course is now retired. Thanks for your interest!

Congratulations to Michele Christensen, Cathy Jennings and Zach Hammer, who all won a spot in the Big Brand System course! Thanks to every one of you for your comments.

You want your business marketing to reflect the level of quality and service you offer, but you can’t afford to hire a professional designer or ad agency. Even if you don’t have a marketing budget of tens of thousands of dollars, you know you must have marketing materials that are effective and look great if you want your business to thrive.

Master the basics with personalized help

how to make a brand big with a sneak peek at the Big Brand System course

The Big Brand System is the only online course that teaches small business owners how to successfully design their own marketing materials. Whether you do business online or offline, and whether you sell products or services, the Big Brand System will teach you to create effective marketing materials that get results. Weekly lessons will build your knowledge from the ground up, so you will master the techniques you need to create professional looking marketing materials that work.

As a member of the course, you can get your questions answered on the Big Brand System Forum. I’ll give you the attention you need so you can master the information you’re learning. I’ll share secrets it has taken me 25 years to learn! Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to interact (and network) with other business owners who are working to grow their businesses with great marketing, too.

Members will also receive the Big Brand System Member Newsletter, full of tips tailored especially for those learning and using the Big Brand System in their businesses.

The best part of all? People who sign up during this launch will be Charter Members. Once Charter Members pay for the course, they get ongoing access to the materials and the templates.

Templates that make your business look great

As a bonus, once you’ve learned the basics, you’ll gain access to the Big Brand System Templates. These templates will be offered in sets with a graphic style that is consistent across all of them.

You’ll get website headers, e-book templates, invoice templates, Twitter backgrounds and much, much more so that every place your company’s name appears, your business will look polished, professional and consistent.

Most templates will be created in OpenOffice, which is free, open-source software. Print templates (for brochures, business cards, etc.) will be created in Adobe InDesign, which is the industry-standard software for print artwork. You’ll get complete files that you can edit yourself, or take to a printer or designer to edit for you.

Both software programs are cross-platform compatible, so they can be used on Windows and Mac computers. OpenOffice is readily available, has great online support and is free, so you won’t have to invest in expensive software. InDesign will be used for the handful of templates that you can send to a commercial printer. Your local printer, or any designer you know would be able to modify those templates for you.

What’s the free offer?

I know there’s a lot of excitement about the launch of my course. Many of you have emailed me to ask about it. I’m grateful to know you are watching closely and are ready to get inside and start learning!

To thank you for your interest, I am offering three free memberships to readers of this blog. [This offer has expired: thanks for your interest!]

How can you get in for free?

To be considered for a free membership, here’s what you need to do. At the bottom of this page, add a comment, and tell me:

  • What’s your biggest frustration when it comes to marketing your business?
  • What do you want to accomplish with the Big Brand System course?

Do you have questions about the Big Brand System? Please let me know those, too! I’m happy to answer them.

Tell all your friends

Do you know someone who could benefit from the Big Brand System online course? Click on the “Share this” link below to email a link to this page or share it on Twitter and Facebook.

Membership includes all the course material, access to a helpful forum, an exclusive member newsletter and pre-designed templates for common marketing materials. Remember, I want to know:

  • What’s your biggest frustration when it comes to marketing your business?
  • What do you want to accomplish with the Big Brand System online course?

If you have questions, let me know about those, too!

Good Luck!

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson is an online educator, author, keynote speaker, and the founder of BIG Brand System. Read reviews of the tools used to run this site and business. Have you taken the free Focus Finder quiz yet?

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91 thoughts on “Make Your Brand Big for Free!”

  1. Pamela, everything looks terrific.
    What’s your biggest frustration when it comes to marketing your business? – simply breaking through the clutter and noise to be heard
    What do you want to accomplish with the Big Brand System course? – consistent look/feel/appearance

    • To think of a unique design of a logo and materials and have consistency across all marketing materials. I want to be noticeable in anything that I do….just by sight not by reading. Love your information! Thanks

  2. Pamela, congrats on your launch! Woo!

    Biggest frustration with marketing in general is overwhelm: there’s too much to do!
    Big Brand System: I’d like to learn some basics of design, and not be completely reliant on others. I don’t know how to do anything, design-wise. One of your recent posts talked about resizing photos to even them out — how? I know nothing.

  3. Pamela,

    I’m so impressed with what you’ve created and the usefulness of your program.

    My biggest frustration: Figuring out how to make all the different online and marketing systems work — WordPress, Aweber, WishList — when there are technical glitches that require HTML or CSS knowledge I don’t have. And having to ask for help from friends to work through what would otherwise be small problems.

    Accomplish with the BigBrand course: Finally, have enough working knowledge of all these different elements and programs to create a consistent, professional look for the new informational and online products I want to create.

    Many thanks for the kind offer! All the best on your launch.

  4. Pam,
    I’m so excited to see this coming soon. It’s going to provide a wonderful basis for great looking materials. I’m happy to tell people about it on twitter and facebook.

    My biggest frustration that this product will solve is having the time to get all the pieces of my marketing visually consistent, and being able to offer other people I work with tools to do the same.

  5. I’m currently doing a “business makeover” with my consulting practice, so this course comes at a perfect time! My biggest frustration in marketing is being objective of my own materials – I can do that for others, and try hard on my own stuff for my business, but my own attachment to my business makes it very hard sometimes to recognize and keep what’s essential and let go of what’s not. I’d like to recreate my marketing to be simple, powerful and actionable.

  6. Hi, Pamela! I’m so excited about your course! I’ve signed up for your free Design 101 e-course and I would absolutely LOVE to win a free membership to the Big Brand System!

    My biggest frustration is that there is very little quality information out there for artists about how to market themselves and their work. After that, I would say that detailed information on how to create marketing materials from scratch, with no background in marketing, would be extremely helpful!

    What I would like to accomplish from the Big Brand System course: Create marketing materials for myself and my husband, as artists. Also create marketing materials for a new online school that I am creating. And possibly other online products, too!

    Thanks so much, Pamela, for the opportunity to win! I hope you pick me! 🙂

  7. Biggest marketing frustration: that would be list-building, especially online.
    What I’d like to accomplish: a better understanding of basic design concepts so that I can apply those for myself and to help others.

    When I come to your blog I’m always amazed at how clear your design insights are. I don’t want to be a designer but I’d like to learn to either do more myself or better communicate with someone what I want.

    So excited for your launch, you’ve worked hard and this is going to be very very cool!

  8. My biggest marketing frustration is knowing how best to reach my target market. Is it through social media, blogging, print ads, personal interaction, or a combination of many things. I have made some reasonable progress, but I’m just not getting the reach I need to make a product offering viable at this time. How do we know when we have that critical mass? And when is the right time to launch a product?

    What I want (and need) to accomplish with the Big Brand System is learning how to do better design. I really value good design. I totally believe in putting your best foot forward. I know what good design is, but I seem to be missing that certain quality that makes someone a “designer.” I’m very proficient when using software, but need some extra oomph, so I’m looking forward to the templates, especially the ones for e-books. Also, some critiquing would be nice. How do I know if what I’ve designed is any good?

  9. Very glad Yolanda tweeted about this! The timing could not be better for me!

    What’s your biggest frustration when it comes to marketing your business? I have my own and my husband’s business to market and I’m really just running on instinct. I need to learn how to leverage (is that the right word?) my wonderful network of supportive online friends into sales, without losing my friends. 🙂

    What do you want to accomplish with the Big Brand System course? Take my PicsieChick brand from hobby to sustaining income. Okay, well, I know that one course isn’t likely to do that all by itself, but I bet it will help a lot!

    This is exciting stuff….now to sign up for the free course, too.

    Hugs and butterflies,

  10. What’s your biggest frustration when it comes to marketing your business?
    All of the conflicting points of view.

    What do you want to accomplish with the Big Brand System online course?
    I’d like to learn about the elements that go into design, and the considerations that go with them. Today, I know great designs and poor designs when I see them. But, if you gave me a blank slate, I’d have a hard time. I’d like to fix that. Example: Just because I can make a great cake from scratch doesn’t mean I understand how the ingredients work or why they are there. I’d like to understand the ingredients that go into great design, and why they are important.

  11. Hi Pamela-

    Thank you for this opportunity.

    To answer your questions:

    What’s your biggest frustration when it comes to marketing your business? My biggest frustration is finding out how to actually reach my target market. I tweet, post on Facebook, blog, write articles and network. Yet I don’t feel I’m making much traction. When I think I know my target market, I’m faced with a set back.

    What do you want to accomplish with the Big Brand System course? I want to accomplish really discovering how to reach my market with consistency. I’ve had 2 different style business cards, logos and brochures. I am not satisfied yet with any of the materials I currently have and they all look different due to not really know ing how to put it all together.

  12. Hi Pamela, congrats on your upcoming launch 🙂

    Biggest frustration: having to learn and adapt so many different systems such as aweber, wordpress, open office just to do simple things – there is just not enough hours in the day sometimes.

    What do you want to accomplish with the Big Brand System course? Brand consistency to become a “big” brand as well as saving time.

  13. Biggest frustration … time and resources. Locating outside resources takes so much time and can be very expensive. Want to learn how to be effective, resourceful, work smarter not harder. Be able to understand the importance of graphics and design and how to use and apply that knowledge. All arrows need to be pointing in the same direction to move forward. 🙂 Thank you for your time.

    • I was at a long meeting this morning and am just getting back to my desk and my, this post is hopping! Thanks for all the comments, everyone. Keep ’em coming!

  14. Frustrations are twofold – one is a strong and very viable existance of the old guard (mailing flyers) that is not so into accepting and promoting new media (web, newsletters, social media) and two is the time and energy it takes to learn the systems, produce the content and put it out into space to only receive minimal results.

    What I’d like to accomplish is to get better results. Also learn to have a cleaner, professional quality, easy to navigate online presence.

  15. Every time I look at one of your publications, I recognize that you understand design. That’s my biggest frustration — I don’t understand design, at least not to implement it. It is like being in a fog. I’d like to learn what you know. Best wishes to everyone who wins, and thanks to you, Pamela, for the opportunity to enter.

  16. Hi Pamela,
    So happy to see the course is finally launching! The free ecourse is awesome so I know this will exceed my expectations.

    Biggest frustration in marketing: weeding through all of the information out there to find the nuggets that will work for my business and budget.

    I would like to accomplish a polished and consistent look across various business platforms (online & off), allowing me to create a recognizable brand (finally!).

  17. My biggest frustration is consistently putting out materials that look and feel “professional” and polished. Not being trained as a graphics designer some of the simpler stuff gives me fits when it comes to figuring out what looks good and keeping that branding consistent for webpages, print, and autoresponders, etc.

    I can pick out a good design. But when it comes to applying these principles to my own business I seem to get lost. Using the Big_brand System I’d like to be able to consistently develop striking designs that mix aesthetics, “user-friendlyness,” and, of course, response from my market.

  18. My biggest frustration is achieving the professional level of quality needed on a limited budget. I hope to accomplish consistency and time savings with your course! Thanks!

  19. Hi Pamela,

    First of all, how brilliant of you to create this contest! Not only do you get to see what everyone REALLY needs but you create that SEO and SMO buzz that is so important. You are not only an excellent designer – but an excellent marketer as well! I always enjoy seeing people who get it and USE it properly.

    My biggest frustration when it comes to marketing MY business is – clarity. Since I do a lot of different things it’s hard to create a coherent message – visually and in structure.

    I would love to accomplish with your system a clean, clear message that is appealing to visual, auditory and kinesthetic visitors to my site. Too much to ask? I don’t know – you seem to have it all together!

    Love to win the course – as educational funds are already used up for this year (and it’s only July!!)!

    • Phyllis, I’d love to take credit for the contest idea, but I was inspired by this post on Copyblogger. It’s really helpful to see what everyone’s frustrations and goals are. Thanks for sharing them. I can already see that picking winners isn’t going to be easy. 😮

  20. Hi … am anxious to learn as much as I can as I’d like to entirely rebrand my gift shop. I’ve owned it about 18 months now. There have been numerous physical changes and current branding just doesn’t speak to what the store is becoming.

    Biggest frustration – trying to determine where best to spend my time and re$ources. There are days when there just seems to be too many choices and no solid counsel on which direction to take.

    Big Brand System – am looking so forward to gaining more knowledge in the marketing arena in total. All emails and the information contained in the e-book have proved to be so valuable that the course has no other choice but to be fabulous!

    Thx! — tami

  21. My biggest frustration is in knowing who to believe and working with a limited budget, since I am on a fixed income. There are so many programs that range from hundreds to thousands with no guarantee that they will work, since I am a born skeptic.

    This program sounds good, but since I am financially unable to pay for a program that will cost me hundreds for only a book, some videos, or something, I can see a difference in this with the templates and designs.

    I would like to try this program to learn more about marketing my business, since most programs talk about affiliates and my business is freelance writing, editing, reviewing, and more. I guarantee 100 percent original copy and customer satisfaction.

    I would like to see how I can take the items mentioned and apply it to my type of business. To have something designed for me would be an immense step in the right direction toward branding and marketing my business.

  22. Hi Pamela –
    I enjoyed your 10 part Design 101 email series. So I can’t imagine what wealth of knowledge your new course will be!

    * What’s your biggest frustration when it comes to marketing your business? My biggest frustration is learning just what to say and when to say it and how to say it. I’m a reasonably educated person – so WHY is it so hard? Is it because there is psychology to marketing and we just need to learn the correct way to “be seen and heard”?

    * What do you want to accomplish with the Big Brand System course? All marketing is a few basic steps, and then fluffed in the right way. I want to learn to walk those few basic steps. Then learn to fluff, and not depend on someone else to do my fluffing for me!

  23. Hi Pamela,

    Fantastic way to stir up some marketing and buzz about your site and your course! Awesome idea you used from what you saw on CopyBlogger! I will consider it a “quick marketing tip” hehe.

    I am very interested in the course you are offering. Hey, I am a mom first, then a business woman and I try to keep them separate from one another. BUT the thing that catches the eye of both mom and business woman is the word FREE! Here is my entry into your contest:

    * What’s your biggest frustration when it comes to marketing your business? – Not knowing where to start. I am awesome about promoting others but when it comes to me I feel like I am lost. I don’t know why and I have no explanation why I cannot just apply the same methods I use for the clients I have now to myself.
    * What do you want to accomplish with the Big Brand System online course? – I want to be able to market myself in a consistent manner that speaks to the “demographic” I want to attract and form long trusting working relationships with.

    PS I just noticed another comment from someone who said they have troubles marketing their own stuff but market fine for others. Maybe it isn’t just me? Is this a common trend you see?

    • Hi Jaime-Ann! Yes: the ability to market for others and not yourself is super common. One of the things we’ll talk about very early on in the course is your target market, because all marketing efforts have to start there.

      I’ve found if I forget about myself and just focus on meeting the needs of the market I’m targeting it’s much easier to do my own marketing work. It’s like a beacon that guides every decision you make, and rather than shining it on yourself, you’re shining it on the people you want to reach. Does that make sense?

  24. What’s your biggest frustration when it comes to marketing your business?

    I find the biggest frustration is making something unique that catches people’s eyes, but at the same time is very simple. It seems like two very contradictory ideas.

    What do you want to accomplish with the Big Brand System course?

    Find some great information and templates that can help guide me in the direction of great design for my marketing material.

  25. Biggest frustration: where to put my precious resources, especially my time!
    I hope to get the best out of the time I do have by using your course.
    many thanks

  26. Hi Pamela,
    My biggest frustration is that I don’t even know where to start. Facebook? Google Adwords? Print? Press releases? SO many avenues–how to decide which will give the best ROI.

    What I’d love to get from the course is the confidence that my marketing materials are consistent in their message and professional in their delivery.

  27. Hi Pamela,

    Biggest frustration right now with own businesses: naming them. To come up with a name that sounds good, communicates what I want, interesting to the target group but still creative enough to become a brand (not to mention available domains for the online presence).
    Want to accomplish: to see a simple system I can use with my clients so that I don’t have to improvise with all of them all the time. Would be easier to go through a checklist (which I kind of have, but I keep adding to it because it never fits the new client :)), and just tick off what’s in, what’s out, what needs improvement and set up the strategy from there.

  28. Oh Man – I wouldn’t want to have to choose a winner either! Everyone sounds so cool –

    You can try this:
    1. Try to narrow it down to the top 50 (?) and give each entry a number.
    2. Go to and use the little widget on the right side to generate a random number – match it to your list – and there you go!

  29. It’s funny when you think you have a unique problem and then you read a whole bunch of other people saying almost the exact same thing! Add me to the club of folks who can identify good or bad design when they see it, but can’t identify the critical decisions and elements that added up to make a particular design either work or not work.

    I’d say my biggest challenge in marketing is creating materials, whether for print or web, with that professional look that just shines from every piece of Big Brand communication. I know I’ll never be an artist, so that aspect of your design brand is too much to expect of myself. But if I could learn to consistently achieve a sharp, professional look to my materials…well, that is what I want to get out of the Big Brand System!

  30. Biggest frustration – getting my name out there to the right people and building brand awareness

    Would like to improve my brand awareness and create more professional consistent marketing materials. I also want to learn more about design!

  31. Hey, have went through Marketing 101 course and loved it, but of course I need to go to the next level.
    1. I am frustrated with using Facebook and trying to create excitement, interaction, and a flow of ideas, and have to say I am working in the dark at present.
    2. I am hoping through The Big Brand System, to take online marketing to another level for our store, find a way to make our media all match no matter where it is, and learn how to do this for other companies.
    I love it that you never promise the moon, but are very realistic and down to earth. It’s much better down here on the earth anyway! I enjoy any email content I get from you.

    Thank you for what you do. Paul Thompson

  32. Biggest frustration: What I need is — Effectiveness + Simplicity + High Value = Paying Customer

    Big Brand System: What I’ve experience from your own material is high value, simplicity and effectiveness. This seems spot on. You’ve done it. I’d hope that you could help me do that as well.

  33. Thanks for this great opportunity!

    My biggest marketing frustration is ferreting out my brand and sticking to it. I’ve got a couple of related things going and if I could connect those well under 1 brand, I’d feel accomplished.

    What I want to accomplish is be able to make my own website header without being pissed off because I can’t make it look right or spend 3 hours trying to get the sizing right. Templates amen!

  34. Probably the biggest frustrations for me is prioritizing, then sticking to the plan. I like having multiple projects to work on, but sometimes it’s hard to decide what to do first. Everything seems to be the most important task.

    The faster I work, the more the ideas flow, and the cycle becomes more intense.

    I can get things done; otherwise I wouldn’t have been in business for myself for over 20 years. But I’d like to have a system that helps me sort out what needs to be done, then follows a logical sequence for getting those things accomplished.

  35. Excellent, Pamela! I’m really looking forward to this!

    1. What’s your biggest frustration when it comes to marketing your business? Getting to the essence of me. As has been mentioned so often here, it’s so easy to do for others and not so easy to do for ourselves.

    2. What do you want to accomplish with the Big Brand System course?
    Package myself in a way that focuses what I can do into a memorable, more easily consumerable “brand” that speaks clearly to my target market, and helps to pull them in.

    Thanks again, Pamela!

  36. I work for a publisher as a cover designer. That keeps me so busy, I don’t want to do creative things when I’m home. I should build a better website and try to market my skills on the www.
    this is the biggest frustration for me…


  37. OOOHHHH! It looks great! I think I am a frustrated designer at heart – I love visual arts, but have no training in it, so I know what I want, but not how to get it. So, that is my biggest frustration.

    What I want to get out of the course is the basic knowledge to create my own materials and have it look like someone else did it 😉

  38. Frustration: not knowing where to find my target market — or even who they are, exactly. Hope to accomplish: My sites will soon look as distinctive — and be as effective — as yours.

  39. This is a truly wonderful opportunity and promotion, Pamela! Bet you could put together a panel of 3T members to help objectively evaluate the responses on your behalf. You wouldn’t need more than 3 folks to be on the judging panel and perhaps they can be rewarded for their time by being allowed to participate in your course too!

  40. * What’s your biggest frustration when it comes to marketing your business?
    – lack of integration between marketing efforts, materials and my value
    * What do you want to accomplish with the Big Brand System online course?
    – nailing down the value I truly bring to clients and promoting it effectively and consistently to my target market to win more and more profitable clients

  41. My biggest frustration is knowing how to articulate my message and have the feel of that message come across visually in a brand. The information that you share in your newsletters has been very helpful- I actually look forward to getting them. I look forward to your Big Brand System to provide the tips and know how to leverage my ability to take control of my own graphics and marketing materials without being completely dependent on an outside artist. I want to be able to do the simple things to create good materials quickly and save the bigger jobs for the artistic professional.

  42. 1. biggest frustration marketing
    Pamela, as a learned artist, I posses a gifted sense of color balance and simplicity.I recognize and endorse the benefits of developing an unique style, feeling and presence for each business.
    My frustration occurs with graphic implementation. I have mastered quite a bit through Thesis, yet I am not tapping into my individual talents.

    2. I see the Big Brand Marketing Course laying necessary and critical groundwork for a consistent marketing campaign for savor the ride. As owners, it is this consistency of the displayed product, which solidifies the trust we have worked so hard to obtain. I believe the Big Brand Marketing Course will afford me the necessary hands-on tools to further develop my site.

    Pamela, thanks for the opportunity to submit for selection

  43. I have been looking forward to this. Congrats on all you’ve been doing. I’m not a designer but I play one on … no I don’t …

    Biggest Frustration:
    The expanse and opportunity of the internet can be a double edged sword. Potential is often swallowed whole by the sheer size of the environment and competition. Regardless of the size of a my niche, I need a way to successfully be seen and heard – and remembered.

    Want to Accomplish:
    I don’t just want a fish dinner, I need to learn to fish. Although the difference between pretty good and just right can seem minimal at times, the effect is anything but. I need to develop design skills that will allow me to produce effective work consistently on all my future projects. And that includes the total package – offline as well as on.

  44. Pamela,

    You are awesome for having this contest! I signed up for your free e-course and learned SOOOO much!

    1. Biggest Frustration — being at the mercy of designers for my marketing materials. I’ve had some good ones, but many just didn’t get the “marketing part” of creating materials (only the pretty part). I’m a do-it-yourselfer and am always learning new skills. This would be such a boost to my biz.

    2. What I hope to accomplish with Big Brand System — a cohesive, cool, effective marketing presence that doesn’t put me in debt! I like to be as self-sufficient as I can (only outsourcing what I need to or what I dislike doing) and this course would really give me all the tools, knowledge and goodies to make it happen!

    Here’s hoping I win a spot in your course!


  45. I try to do it all myself without really knowing how. I lose a lot of time and don’t quite get where I mean to be going. That’s at least ONE of my biggest frustrations.

  46. My biggest frustration is that I spend so much time trying to get my brand out there, that I am worn out when it comes to having an actual product behind the brand.

    What I hope to accomplish with your stellar help is to have a plan on paper, so that I can manage all of the various marketing avenues better and in less time. I have so many ideas that I want to put to work on my site, but feel like I am barely treading water or putting out fires just to stay where I am.

    I really want to take Chew & Digest Books to a new higher level, but am getting overwhelmed.

  47. Biggest frustration: TECHNOLOGY! The learning curve is often enough to send me scuttling for my chocolate stash!

    Hope: great looking materials that scream “PROFESSIONAL!!” 😉



  48. Thanks so much for the great content!

    My biggest frustration in marketing my business is figuring out where my “right people” are, and getting my stuff in front of them.

    I’m an artist/designer, but I don’t feel like I have a cohesive visual identity. (The cobbler’s kids always go without shoes…) I’d like to create a more visually compelling website and marketing materials. I’ve learned a lot from your content so far, and hope your course can help me overhaul my visual identity, to create a consistent look I’m proud of.


  49. 1. Biggest frustration – knowing that you only have a few seconds to grab someones attention so they’ll want to read/learn more and eventually purchase a service and having absolutely no idea of how to accomplish that.

    2. What I hope to accomplish with Big Brand System – to finally be able to design a complete professional marketing package that appeals to my target market (& more) and helps to grow my list, as well as my business.

  50. Hi, Pamela, I really love the resources here and the class sounds wonderful. My biggest frustration with marketing . . . is . . . The offerings at my website are changing frequently (online 4-6week scrapbooking classes) and to do each one justice marketing wise takes more time than I have. What I’d love to get out of your class is to take my “look” and materials to a higher level of professionalism.

  51. My biggest frustration is having to rely on others to develop my brand and image. In a perfect world I would love a select it, click it, install it….solution. Something that easy! I am currently planning to launch my new online business, Changes Life Coaching Center and it’s sister sites so this course is perfectly timed to help me go from unprofessional and disjointed to professional, organized look and content structure for my sites and products. ~ Thank you universe and Big Brand System!

  52. What’s your biggest frustration when it comes to marketing your business?
    My biggest frustration is falling prey to fear. Fear of rejection, fear of success, fear of failure, fear of feeling out of my depth. It’s hard to move forward when you feel like the ground underneath is crumbling to nothingness beneath you.

    What do you want to accomplish with the Big Brand System course? A bit of hand holding to get over the fear and feel like the work is something worthwhile and will be useful to the business would be one of the greatest boons to my growth (as a person, marketer, entrepreneur)

  53. My biggest frustration is having to attempt to format and brand all of your information yourself. You know it’s necessary, you want your stuff to look good, you want to develop a brand, but how do I do it? When do I have time to work on marketing materials when I barely have enough time to work on product development? I’m relatively new to the online business scene, and I find this aspect to be extremely overwhelming.

    What do I want to accomplish? I’d love to be able to learn exactly what looks good and what doesn’t. The do’s and don’ts of marketing and formatting and branding. I’d like some creative ideas & templates — anything to make my job a little easier as a business owner.


  54. This is a wonderful thing to learn. I have been searching everywhere for a one stop learning system. My greatest obstacle is that I want to have a uniform recognizable look so that no reading is needed. Everyone can know what it is right my looking at the logo. The Mom Principles is a set of truths that give mothers permission to live a fulfilled and happy life while raising their children.

  55. So glad this is launching Pamela! ditto to many of the other responses.

    Biggest frustration: I’m not an artist, and I can make the basics look good
    and clear and usable, but I have no skill with taking the design up a notch
    and translating the emotional look and feel that I want into visuals.
    What I want to do: take my brand and design to a whole new level that really looks and feels like The Heart’s Voice and conveys what I want it to in a unique way.

  56. Thank you for this opportunity.

    Frustration: knowing what I want inside of my mind, but lacking the skill to do it and/or time to learn how on my own.

    Accomplish: open possibilities of my authentically expressing my ideas to my clients and sharing those ideas (and other resources) with others through simply, yet elegant, design.

  57. This looks like a great programme, Pamela, so all the best with your launch.

    My biggest frustration with marketing is that I can’t present my messages as well as I would like. I work with words, but I understand that I need to display my words effectively, draw attention to my key messages and so on. Knowing more about how to do this in the design context would be great.

    What I would like to accomplish via your programme is to learn how to get started on design and to start to produce something quite different from what I have done thus far. I think there would be a clear “before” and “after” element to my work so working out the distance I have travelled would be easy.

    I’m a real beginner. If I produce a diagram in Word, how do you get in up onto the website? . . . .

  58. My Biggest Frustration: making cold calls that just end up not working out.

    What I hope to accomplish with the Big Brand System online course: not having to cold call.

  59. Just finished reading your latest post, and realized that, despite the formal classes I took once upon a time, there’s still a lot to learn here.

    Biggest Frustration – A design sense that while containing the basics, just doesn’t quite reach as far as I feel it ‘should’. Or as far as I feel it needs to in order to set the stage for what we are trying to convey. We have powerful messages to share, MikeD & I, messages that we feel could benefit a lot of people out there.

    And I feel that if I could just find a way to access that missing ‘something’, I know we could do it a lot better.

    What I hope to accomplish with the BigBrand System online course: to find that missing ‘something’, add it to the proverbial toolbox, go out & design some marketing pieces that will pull people into our message and let them know what it is we are saying, why we are saying it, what they should be doing about it, and why they should care.

    I would also use the skills with my photopoems and other inspirational artworks to bring more joy to this world.

    Thank you so much, Pamela, for the wisdom you share here and in the Remarkable fora, and for the opportunity you have offered here.

    Bright Blessings & Good Fortune!
    -Birdy :>

  60. Great series of posts, Pamela! I have really enjoyed reading them and have already learned a lot!

    Marketing frustration: I like some of the graphic design/marketing development types of tasks, but it takes me a long time to make things look like I think they should and I want to change and update things too much rather than settling on something and sticking with it.

    What I would like to get out of the course is some guidelines and templates that would make designing materials a less time-consuming task and result in greater uniformity between products.

    Thank you for this opportunity and keep up the helpful posts!


  61. Pamela, Than you for this opportunity. My biggest frustration is creating materials that look professional and represent the authentic me. I have worked with a designer friend on a logo – I love the symbol and the design but we butt heads on colors and fonts. She keeps pushing me toward a fancy artsy font when I feel that my business as a professional organizer calls for a traditional and linear look.

    I listened to your interview with Carol Brown and I know that you get what I need.

    By taking your course, I want to finally after 10 years have a brand that is projected in all of materials. I want to look like I have arrived.

  62. Good Morning Pamela

    Having this contest is brilliant marketing! It is really getting the posts a flyin’!

    I was so pleased with your Design 101 10-part series and amazed at the clarity and worthiness of each and every one of the lessons…I learned a lot.

    My biggest frustration – staying consistent with the look and feel of my outreach, I am endlessly attracted to a new font…a new look…a new color…new design elements…a new tagline…even a new name! This is driving me crazy even as I love working with the newness each time! SO…for only consistency is being inconsistent!

    What do I WANT… NEED…HOPE FOR…? To create…finally… overall outreach that carries my energy in a consistent way…surely it is possible, but I can’t seem to find that “magic” formula on my own!

    Thank you for your generous offer of free memberships! Wishing you all the best with your launch!

    in good chi,

  63. Look at all these fabulous responses, wow! For most of them I definitely feel a huge, “me too!” I’m good at hoarding fonts and using technology. I’m great at picking out designs I love. But I’m uncomfortable emulating (or even getting inspiration from) designs without feeling like I’m ripping someone off.

    My biggest frustration in marketing my business: knowing when to “do it” and when to “delegate it.” I can *technically* do a lot of things but that doesn’t mean it’s a good use of my time or that the results I’ll get will be as good as what someone else can do; however, sometimes when I delegate stuff it ends up lower quality than what I think I could have done myself. Boy is that ever frustrating!

    What do you want to accomplish with the Big Brand System online course? Getting a complete template for all my business materials that are easily reproduced so that I can “delegate it” more.

  64. I am a font junkie and can spend hours tweeking the colors to get them just right….which is my biggest frustration! I don’t have enough great examples to start with to give me direction, so I feel like I waste a lot of time creating marketing without really knowing if it’s going to be good. Feeling like it’s “not good enough” has allowed me to procrastinate too long.

    I want the Big Brand System to help me once and for all get a cohesive set of marketing pieces done that I can do minor changes to in order to keep them fresh so I don’t have to reinvent the wheel everytime.

  65. Biggest frustration…. creating marketing for my own business including what to say that is the hardest. I’m a designer/photographer. It seems to be a common complaint in this field.

    What I want to accomplish with the Big Brand System course… to walk through start to finish how you create everyday marketing materials beyond the logo and letterhead but ads and sales support materials.

    I love your explanations of how to apply the rules of design – simple and easy to remember.

    Thanks for sharing the Big Brand System!

    Have a great Tuesday.

  66. You have no idea how timely this is. I swear, everytime I am at a place where I feel frusterated and stuck, something like this pops up. When I first came to your site, it really did grab me by the eyeballs. I was hooked and read through nearly every page.

    I would love the opportunity to be one of your three. I in the middle of redoing my site. I have already gone through your link for the Thesis app…Havent bought it yet, but I think this is the direction I am going to go.

    Just had a quick question…Do you know if I install the Thesis app, if it will break my existing site. I can’t seem to find this answer anywhere on the web. I assume the answer is somewhere inside the Thesis forum, but it is not accessible until I purchase the software.

    Anyhow, glad to be a part of your list.

    Kind Regards,


    • Hi Nate! OK, no guarantees here, but I can tell you that Thesis works just like any other theme. You install it and activate it from within WordPress. Nothing should break, but all your content will be reconfigured within the Thesis “look.”

      When this happens, you’ll probably want to play with the options until it looks the way you want it to. There’s a lot of great support in the DIY forums. It’s a good idea to search your question first, because chances are someone has already answered it. If you can’t find the answer and need to start a new thread, people are very helpful and responsive. The couple of questions I’ve asked have been answered within the hour.

  67. Hi Pamela!

    I’ve been actively reading your stuff for a while now – been more of a lurker than a participant – but your content is wonderful!

    Biggest Frustration – Not having the money to pay the experts to handle parts of my marketing that I am not good at (currently). While I know I can be successful without some of the expensive products/services/courses/etc… I also know that many people have spent much more time studying and learning these various aspects of marketing and would do a much better job than I can with my current knowledge.

    What would I accomplish with the Big Brand System Online Course? Actually, my first goals wouldn’t even be for my own business directly. I have a brother who is pursuing a career in comedy. (Adam Hammer – adamhammer.c0m) I definitely feel that he has the talent to take him wherever he wants to go in the comedy world, and he has already experience quite a bit of success – but that is what he knows well – comedy; I have learned tons about marketing – but not very much about actual design.

    I’d love to be able to help get a solid idea together for his brand that has a solid look to go along with it. He has some ideas, I have some ideas, but neither of us have the education to really know what the best practices are when it comes to design.

    Thanks for all your information and the great value that you offer!


  68. What’s your biggest frustration when it comes to marketing your business?
    I think for me it would be the desire to stand out from the crowd in a creative way (I’m an actor & writer) while still keeping a professional approach. There is so much white noise and such a huge volume of potential competition that I want my marketing efforts and outreaches to jettison me light years ahead of the rest.
    What do you want to accomplish with the Big Brand System course?
    I would love to build up my marketing arsenal with tons of new tools and tricks that will excite and inspire me and my target market. I flipping love marketing. I have a near endless appetite for growth and a passion to implement- I just need to learn from a pro.

  69. Hi Pamela!

    I’m new to your blog, but enjoying what I read.

    I’m a designer and writer at heart, but been in the travel business for over 38 years and just can’t seem to break away even though it’s a tough business to be in today. Trying to convince people to do business with us instead of booking online is my biggest challenge. It doesn’t cost you anymore to get that personal attention – and advice – not found online. Guess you can say that’s my biggest frustration. Probably not what you’re looking for, but there you go…

    Will your new program teach us how to break into the design business as well as create our own brand? I do believe it’s time for a change – even at my old age…that’s what I need to accomplish from your course. Overcoming the fear of starting all over again is where I need help after learning everything you have to teach.

    Would love to be a winner. Haven’t won anything in a long time!

    Good luck to you in all you do…
    Elaine Johnston

    • Hi Elaine,

      This is a great question. The course isn’t a substitute for a design degree. The people I’d like to reach want to use design and marketing to grow their businesses. I could teach about how to run a design studio, but that would be a whole different course!

      I want to help people to understand the basics about design so that they can create marketing materials that look professional and consistent. I know small business owners end up wearing many hats, and marketing is one of them. I want to teach what I know so that their marketing efforts are more successful.

      Thanks for reading, and for this great question.

  70. I get your free emails and have found them incredibly useful (and I do design as part of my day job). As I explore starting a business, learning more about marketing will be very beneficial. Thanks for having this contest!

  71. Thank you so much for your wonderful design insights! Unlike many young “designers” I encounter today, you are someone I can actually relate to, admire and respect. I also remember designing before the advent of the desktop computer and my biggest wish was to be able to design at home like I did “at work”. I remember galleys of type and the first typesetting machines where everything was in code…I love your blog and enjoy your clean and professional design work, especially your understanding of the importance of TYPOGRAPHY! (a skill that is lost on most younger designers who think they can be a graphic designer, just because they have a compute on their desk!) THANKS!

  72. Hi Pamela,

    Cool contest… I notice it motivates me to really think about the value of the BBS online course… which of course is a great step toward enrolling, for everyone who does that. Genius!

    And by helping us articulate our marketing frustrations, you’re getting – in our words – the sales copy for the course : ) Double genius!

    What’s your biggest frustration when it comes to marketing your business?
    That we have two target markets and it’s tough to create a consistent look and feel across them. We do executive coaching and facilitation, as well as work with women (often the same women, but they usually pay, themselves, vs. the company). The two do cross-pollinate one another, so two separate brands is not the solution. Our solution at has been workable, to date, but I don’t feel the overall cohesion, ease, and joy I’d like to in the marketing in both directions.

    What do you want to accomplish with the Big Brand System online course?
    I really enjoyed your free e-program and want to take those from “good ideas” to implementation. I want to make sure we’ve got consistency across everything we put out, while giving each of our programs its own distinct sparkle – especially helping the corporate ones feel corporate and the personal ones feel juicy and feminine, all in keeping with the brand. I want materials, too, and ways of communicating online and in print, that actually HELP motivate and focus me in moving forward. Good design is like self-care… I feel fabulous when the packaging is fabulous, but I can’t always afford a designer to do EVERYTHING.

    Blessings to you and this course and everyone who visits this thread!

    In joy,

  73. I am in the development phase of my website, hoping to go live in the next few weeks, already designed on wordpress 3.0, using the Aritseer program to custom design my look. Have already researched blog topics, and have many ideas for success, but looking for what it takes to be really successful when I go live, I found this website recently and really feel that going forward will be invaluable assistance…hopefully allowing me to see success for myself and my future readers.

  74. My Biggest Frustration is trying to create succint, trendy brand messages that draw the appropriate audience- I know they’re out there!

    I want to accomplish GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS with the Big Brand System online course! By learning how to effectively design and market the brand for my products and services I can then help others who desperately need help with theirs. Most of my consulting is done for small business start-ups and non-profits, where there is never a big budget to work with. My biggest desire is to see others succeed and many people would be Blessed if I was to be awarded a Free Membership.

  75. My biggest problem is DECIDING !
    I have got a little of the way with lots of things but its a small hill of beans if you look at it with a distance.
    Deciding what to prioritise is baffling, making an effective system is desirable but not happening, feeling confident enough to know I have made a good action or design choice would be a relief.

    To feel PROUD of what I have done would be bliss.

    I am at the point where I know there is much to do, but doing nothing because I cant decide on my next best, most useful or productive step.
    That leaves me walking around trying to kick myself in the a***! and thats none to easy either!

    What I have learnt from you so far has been different to any of the other info out there. Real stuff…practical steps…not just telling you how you should do it but showing you. This was a relief. I feel if I get down to working with some more info like this I could actually get stuff done.

    Deep joy and gratitude would swiftly follow.

    Thank you for your efforts on my behalf!

  76. Have thoroughly enjoyed Design 101 & am looking forward to the course launch soon.My biggest newbie frustration is marketing my copywriting services to prospective clients.Same old “Don’t have work samples to show because haven’t done paid work”bugaboo.Non-profit/volunteer work samples haven’t brought any reponses yet…

    • Congratulations to Michele Christensen, Cathy Jennings and Zach Hammer, who all won a spot in the Big Brand System course! Thanks to every one of you for your comments. If you know you want to sign up for the course, please be sure to put your name on the Early Notification List. That list – which will notify you first and offer a discounted price – will disappear in about 48 hours.

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