Trade Secrets

Each Trade Secrets e-letter features a proven tip from a sign professional that will make you money, save you time or give your work an edge. 

We e-mail a new Trade Secret to readers every few weeks, so click here to make sure you're on the list.

Meanwhile, check out the great tips you've been missing:

  • No more lost design fees September 23, 2015

    Often a client will say they don’t want or need to buy a logo, yet once the sign is up and they’re getting great compliments about it, they decide they want to use that design on all their advertising. They may think all you have to do is “send the file over by email.” See how Larry Elliott avoids the lost profits that can occur when this happens.


  • 8 ways to ramp up your flat sign designs September 01, 2015

    Braun Bleamer does plenty of great-looking signs on flat panels for clients who  come looking for a 3-D sign then decide it is beyond their budget. He converts these sales to upscale flat signs that deliver a lot of impact for his clients and excellent profits for his shop. See how he does it.

  • What would you get for this 4x8? August 13, 2015

    We asked Trade Secrets readers what they would charge to make this 4x8 sign and to install it. Hundreds responded, and you'll find the average prices and more here. See how your price compares!

  • An easy upgrade you can sell today July 02, 2015

    Letting a graphic or lettering extend beyond the edge of a panel is an easy trick that is seldom used. Most sign makers overlook how easy it is to get out of the rectangle rut. That means it’s an easy way to give your work the edge over your competition’s work. Here's how...

  • Beyond the routine magnetic sign June 11, 2015
    Magnetic signs, like any vehicle lettering, can be powerful advertising for a small business. Likewise, they can also be generic identification that lets a small business miss out on that advertising value. See how Bob Stephens upsells customers to more effective advertising--and more profits for the sign shop.
  • More great image-driven websites May 28, 2015

    More great-looking sites that let the photos do the talking, plus a tip on how to build one inexpensively that you can manage yourself.

  • Websites that let the photos do the talking May 20, 2015

    Do you really need a lot of text on your website? Here are three sign company websites that take the image-driven approach: they let the photos do the talking. Pay a visit to each of them to see what I mean (and see a lot of great-looking signs in the process!).

  • Will they give you the job or not? April 29, 2015

    You have only a few minutes to influence a prospect’s decision to let you do their sign work. Very often this decision is made by the impression the prospect gets rather than what you say. Showing before-and-after examples of your work is one way to create the right impression.

  • This handout ends deposit and copyright hassles March 19, 2015

    Tired of having to explain to customers that you need a deposit, it helps to know their budget and that your designs are your property? Download this handout! It covers these issues and more in a professional, easy to understand way.

  • Sell signs that advertise rather than just identify February 26, 2015
    Very often a customer sees a sign just as identification—overlooking the advertising power of a sign. Sometimes a basic sign for identification is all they need or all their budget will allow. But there are real benefits to developing the design skills that let you create signs that deliver real advertising value.
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