Category Archives: Alter Endeavors

6 Ways Becoming a Mom Changed the Way I Market

A major life experience changed my perspective. Big whoop. It seems obvious and I am certainly not the first or last person to have my perspective changed by becoming a parent, but becoming a mom has undoubtedly changed me (and the way I market).

Time Management

When you become a parent, your time is no longer your own. Instead, a tiny human is the priority on your daily schedule. This causes you to focus and prioritize how you spend any “free” time. Nap time is precious, sleep and food are the first parent priorities, but I now spend my precious 36 minutes on something really meaningful, instead of wasting my time. This laser-like focus means that it is easier to discern what is vital and what is a time waster. I am spending less time working overall, but more consequential undertakings are completed. Being forced to identify what is important for me on a personal level means that I have done away with alcohol, cable/Netflix/Hulu, my gym membership, and any other pre-baby indulgences like “free” time.  My personal pampering now includes social media, library books and home workouts or jogging with a stroller. In the same way, I am able to focus on what is really important: a content calendar and original blogs for our internal Alter Endeavors marketing. I also keep an eye out for unique ideas, perspectives and opportunities for us and our clients. I don’t have as much time, but the work I do is more impactful.

Media Consumption

Before I became a mom, like many people in the work world, I spent the majority of my day on a computer. This meant that I viewed all media and the world from my 13-inch MacBook screen. The online spaces where I spent most of my time included Google, Gmail, Facebook and Reddit. After my tiny tot entered the scene, balancing a MacBook and a baby in my lap wasn’t as easy. Plus, I’m no longer stationary for very long. I began primarily viewing the world and consuming content from my phone.  Instagram and Instagram Stories overtook Facebook as my primary social media platform of choice. I now have more insight into how others use different social platforms. Previously, I was aware that websites and media could look different when viewed on a phone or a tablet versus a computer, but I now see the degree to which the user experience is impacted when creating and consuming content from a phone. It seemed as though a whole other world was opened to me. I now have a greater perspective on the pathway a potential client may take when interacting with a brand or arriving at a website from their phone. 

Creation Over Consumption

Pre-baby, I posted infrequently, but now that I have something (a baby) that many people are interested in and want to see more of, my content creation for social media has skyrocketed. Granted, not everyone finds the goo-goo-gaga set adorable, but many friends and family encourage more posting. This causes me to become more creative and try new strategies for my “personal brand,” which then enables me to feel more confident about suggesting new strategies or different approaches for the Alter Endeavors brand or clients. My social media presence has become a guinea pig, if you will, for professional enrichment and development. As a new parent, who is humbled daily by all that I don’t know, I am now less timid about sharing or trying something new.

Confidence

This sort of goes along with not having time, but I find myself much more confident in my actions and forthright simply because I don’t have the time to be reserved. When I go to the grocery store and I am trying to get back home before the baby wakes from his nap, I now have no problem striding up to an employee and asking for help reaching that carton of milk that is stuck all the way back in the corner. Before, when emailing with my team or close contacts, I might agonize over an email — the wording, all the details, the tone, etc. Now I am trying to get something down in a short nap time, so I have learned to say what I need and just hit send. Obviously, when corresponding with a new client or during a more formal exchange, it is important to proofread, edit and sound professional, but as far as quick correspondence, suggesting new ideas or communicating a thought that might help someone, I go for it instead of agonizing over it.

Mom-Focused Brands

If you have never had a kid or it has been years since you had a child, you only need to take a peek at a baby registry to realize that young parents speak an entirely different language filled with jargon like Dock-a-Tot, Bumbo, Comotomo, Uppababy, Wubanub and more. All of these brands are fighting for space and name recognition among the stroller set.  Being immersed in this new world and how these brands market their products/services and interact with their community, provides me with an interesting perspective on marketing for moms. These mom-focused brands now fill my Instagram feed as I am both a potential consumer and a marketer doing research. I am sometimes inspired by different strategies or examples and can encourage my team to apply a similar approach for different clients in diverse industries.

The Mom Connection

There are approximately eleventy billion (give or take) groups for moms, but being a part of some of our local Facebook groups that are specifically for moms is invaluable. Recently moved moms, newly pregnant moms, all kinds of moms are looking for recommendations from OBGYNs, to service technicians, to places to eat, to the best brands of car seats… I now have a front row seat to the inside conversation between the largest and most powerful buying force of most families. Not only do I want to know the best car seat to buy for my own child, but I am able to recommend clients and see where competitors rank and learn what people really think. This is an invaluable research tool when it comes to creating content for our local clients because I am learning about the needs, values and priorities of a targeted audience.

Is that a baby I hear?  Got to go, nap time is over, but if you would like a new perspective for marketing your brand, I or one of my colleagues would love to help!

Facebook Ads Case Study + Catch Engine Quiz: Dr. Claire Nicogossian

One of the most rewarding aspects of working with clients from different backgrounds is discovering new ways to help our clients pursue their passions.  As a licensed clinical psychologist, wife and mom to four daughters, Dr. Claire Nicogossian is passionate about helping mothers make time to nurture themselves on the journey of motherhood.  She created the Mom’s Well-Being community to help moms gain knowledge, skills and compassion to increase self-care and well-being in motherhood. In this Facebook Ads Case Study, we review how Alter Endeavors is able to utilize Catch Engine, an assessment marketing tool, in order to help our clients achieve their objectives. 

Growing the Community

Wanting to gain the attention of publishers for herself and her book proposal, Dr. Claire came to Alter Endeavors with the goal of growing her online following.  The specific objective entailed growing a relevant (read: not bought) community of 10K between her Facebook followers and her email list.

Dr. Claire needed a Facebook ad campaign to help her community grow, but first, she required a way to connect with her audience: parents who need self-care. 

A Quiz that Cares

In order to provide support for parents, they must first recognize their need for self-care, stress reduction and a supportive community.  We partnered with Dr. Claire to create both the “Burned Out Mom” and “Burned Out Dad” quizzes to help parents realize their own need for self-care and prevent parental burn out.  After taking the quiz, visitors receive helpful advice, tips and an invitation to join the Mom’s Well-Being community to receive further support.

Build It, and They Will Come…?

Well, not always.  You can’t expect your target audience to find your needle of content in the haystack that is the internet.  Hansel and Gretel (your potential clients) may need a little trail of breadcrumbs to find you.  With thoughtful targeting and valuable content, Facebook ads can be a powerful (and cost-effective) way to connect visitors to your site, product or service.

Our strategy was to build an audience that would be the most likely to need the information that Dr. Claire is offering (whether they realize it or not!) .ie – mothers of young children, working moms, mothers interested in self-help and self-care books, etc. Once we had our audience built out, we created an ad that introduced Dr. Claire in an authentic way, communicating how she has her own skin in the game and personally understands the struggles of motherhood with four children of her own. After this growing audience had been exposed to the ad a few times and seemed to feel more comfortable with Dr. Claire and Moms Well-Being as a reputable voice in this space — we introduced the quiz and its purpose.

From there, we created a short and to the point quiz and a short and to the point ad to go along with it. Giving moms the option to take the longer, more in-depth quiz should they have the time for it OR go the “Quick, Are You A Burned Out Mom?” route if they had a strong idea as to which category they would fall into and simply wanted the tips to combat burnout.

Combatting Burnout and Building Community

Not only did people convert and take the quizzes, 90% of those who took a quiz also subscribed to Dr. Claire’s newsletter. On top of that, the ad currently has quite the comment stream going as well as an ever-increasing number of shares. We invite everyone who likes the ad to like the Mom’s Well-Being Facebook page to continue the conversation there. If there were ever any comments from users that seemed to not understand the point of the quiz, saying something along the lines of “I don’t need a quiz to tell me I’m burnt out!” — Dr. Claire would personally respond by explaining the thought she put into the tips someone would receive after taking the quiz. That personal touch helped users see Dr. Claire’s larger mission to provide valuable information to parents who are suffering.

Facebook Ads Case Study: The Results

The end result is that we have surpassed Dr. Claire’s original goal of a community of over 10k and it continues to grow as we provide quality content and nurture conversation! Now, Dr. Claire is able to send her agent overviews of her website traffic, Facebook community and email list as proof that this topic is of interest to moms and dads across the country.

We love working with Dr. Claire and helping her build an authentic community where parents can connect and receive real support! Reach out if you’d like help growing your audience.

GDPR: What is it? And what does it mean for your website?

GDPR

Last month your inbox may have been flooded with notices about updates to privacy policies.  This was the result of companies trying to accommodate and make their policies compliant with GDPR.

What is GDPR?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. This is an EU law on data protection and privacy. It’s specifically for all individuals within the EU and European Economic Area. The goal is to help citizens and residents maintain control over more of their personal data while unifying regulation within the EU.

Ok, but what does that mean for me and my website?

First of all, Alter Endeavors shouldn’t be considered the final say on how to handle GDPR on your site.  We believe this is ultimately a legal decision between you and your counsel.  However, a good question to start with is:

How often do you interface with EU visitors on your site?

And also: What do you do with the personal data you collect from them?

If your website asks visitors to voluntarily provide data on your forms and it only tracks cookies in a very general sense (and most websites built by Alter Endeavors do this), you are probably doing enough.

If someone from the EU asks to be removed from your list or asks for an inventory of all the information you have on them, then please comply with the request!

We always advise (not only in regards to GDPR) that it is best practice to ONLY use the data you get for the purposes you state, i.e. newsletters and updates about you. Never sell the data or give it to other people.

If you find that people complain that you don’t have cookie opt-outs or something like that in the future, then maybe you should consider implementing cookie opt-out options (which we can help you with!). If you legitimately have people provide their information and you treat it with respect and privacy, you shouldn’t have a problem with your website!

There certainly has been a lot of fear-mongering about this issue, but we feel large companies with questionable privacy practices are the primary target and smaller entities who legitimately collect information freely given have little to fear. Don’t be fooled by people offering expensive solutions, when in reality, you may not need to take any action. If you have specific questions or need help assessing your website needs in regard to GDPR, please reach out to us and we will help you find a sensible solution.

The Content Lifecycle: Putting it All Together

content lifecycle

Content is dynamic, not static.

Content creation is pretty straightforward, but it’s important to know how and when to move through each step. The content lifecycle process can be broken down into these 5 steps…

THE CONTENT LIFECYCLE PROCESS

Step 1: Strategize & Ideate

The first step in creating any type of content is thinking about what your ideal client is having trouble with. Then, create something that will help solve this problem for them. This will involve some research surrounding different topics in your industry. Find out what people are struggling with and answer their questions.

Step 2: Plan

The next step is to create a plan. Decide what type of content needs to be made and where it will be distributed. Are you going to write a blog post? Make an infographic? Film a video? Different platforms handle different types of content better than others. You should already know where most of your ideal clients or consumers hang out, so choose content mediums that work best for those platforms. For example: blogs do best on a website, Instagram does best with graphics, photos, and videos, and Twitter is best for short-form written content.

Step 3: Create & Design

After the plan has been created, it’s time to start designing and creating the content. As mentioned before, content can be in the form of blogs, social posts, graphics, etc.

Step 4: Publish & Distribute

Once the content is created, it’s time to edit and schedule for publishing and distribution. Again, decide beforehand where each piece of content will be published for best results. What platform are people most likely to engage with it and is it relevant? Familiarity with each platform is a must.

Step 5: Evaluate & Maintain

After the publishing phase is the final step: evaluation and maintenance. This is easily the most overlooked step in the lifecycle of any piece of content. Content maintenance can happen in several ways. Update:

  1. For technical reasons
  2. Popular older posts
  3. For relevancy

Whatever the reason for updating older content, doing so can be super beneficial. Some ideas are what we call “evergreen”, meaning they stand the test of time. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel every time, you can simply revamp an older post that was once popular, giving it new life.

Putting it all together

  1. Find a problem you can solve
  2. Plan your content
  3. Write, design, record, etc.
  4. Distribute across the right platforms
  5. Breathe new life into older content

Understanding the content lifecycle can help you establish your brand. Instead of just focusing on one part (usually content creation), take the time to give each part of the lifecycle the attention it needs. This will help strengthen your online presence and keep you relevant for the long term.

Optimize Your Instagram Like a Professional

optimize your instagram

What does it mean to optimize your Instagram profile? It means planning content ahead of time, posting relevant content, and engaging with your audience.

Having an optimized Instagram is crucial for all businesses. With more than 800 million users, Instagram is the largest platform in the world. You can bet people are looking you up on Instagram to see if your business is credible.

Instagram has quickly become the first social media platform consumers go to learn more about a business. The quality of your brand’s feed may be the deciding factor for a lot of consumers, especially if your business is in the food industry. When’s the last time you didn’t check that new restaurant’s Instagram to see what the food looked like?

Here are the best apps to optimize your Instagram profile and start earning consumer trust.

  • Plann
  • Facetune
  • Canva
  • Hashtag Expert for IG

Plann

Plann is an all-in-one app for scheduling and planning your content ahead of time. Here are just a few of the things this powerful app can do:

  • Preview your Instagram feed before posting anything
  • Schedule Instagram stories
  • View performance analytics such as likes, follower growth, best performing hashtags, and best-performing color swatches
  • Discover your best times to post

It’s not every day you come across an app with this much functionality. You can even edit your photos right in the app. Creating and posting content with intention is an absolute must, and this app makes it easy.


Facetune

Facetune is one of the best photo editing apps on the market. While it’s promoted as an app to photoshop your face and make you look better, it does much more than that.

  • Replace backgrounds
  • Change the light source for perfect lighting
  • Remove shadows and glare

If you want high-quality photos but you aren’t a professional photographer, this is the app for you.


Canva

Graphics are everywhere on the internet and Instagram is no exception. They’re a great way to get your message across quickly. Canva is a great, easy to use, graphic design app that allows you to create professional looking graphics. The free version should be enough to get you started, while the paid upgrade will grant you access to hundreds of professionally designed layouts.


Hashtag Expert for IG

Using the right hashtags is important in order to be seen by the right people. It allows others to find your profile by searching for things they’re already interested in. Hashtag Expert for IG generates hashtags based on your post topic. Give it a base hashtag and it will do the rest. It also generates a report card for you so that you can see how a hashtag group is expected to perform. You can even search trending hashtags to see what others are searching for.


It’s all about having the right tools. An updated and professional Instagram profile is crucial for marketing success. Leave as is and you run the risk of missing your target audience or pushing them towards your buttoned-up competition. Use these tools to optimize your Instagram profile and gain consumer trust.

Catch Engine as a Lead Generation Tool

lead generation tool

Our goal at Alter Endeavors is to bring a unique strategy to our clients’ digital marketing ecosystem. We work with a wide variety of clients, but our most successful clients are those looking to drive engagement with their brand, rather than just short-term success. This includes both nurturing a brand’s community and identifying relevant leads. Catch Engine is a lead generation tool we often recommend to our clients because of its ability to grow email lists, amass leads, build data-sets, and so much more.

When we’re approached by small businesses, a question we’re often asked is, “How can I grow my business? I spend around 15 hours a week cold calling and attend every networking event I can. Surely there is something else I can do to help convert referrals to sales?”

Let’s say a particular company offers retirement assistance. Using Catch Engine, we would create a simple quiz asking, “Are You Prepared for Retirement?.” This quiz would then live on their website and could be circulated using social media advertising. In order to receive his or her results, the quiz taker is first required to input their email address. The email they receive following the quiz is completely customizable and is an opportunity to introduce the business and demonstrate how its services can be of help to anyone who is, in fact, not ready for retirement. By knowing where the client is in his or her retirement journey, you now have the information you need to follow-up accordingly. If the relationship requires more nurturing, you can easily continue the conversation through Email Marketing, and send your newfound audience monthly or bi-weekly newsletters. 

Catch Engine is the ultimate lead generation tool, as it allows us to grow your sales pipeline with high efficiency and low cost. Email Marketing then allows us to follow-up with the individuals who would benefit from your product or service most. The combination of these two services are our answers to every small business owner’s question: How can I grow my business? 

If you’re curious to see Catch Engine at work, here are a few examples of assessments Alter Endeavors has made for our clients:

For any follow-up questions regarding Catch Engine as a lead generation tool, contact us! 

Social Media Resources for Small Business Owners

social media resources

The key to successfully navigating the digital marketing world requires accessing a simple, yet exhaustible resource: time. Even with an impressive budget dedicated to your social media platforms and digital ads — without setting aside time to research best practices, you’re likely throwing money down a black hole. Before you decide to go all-in, we suggest that you first spend time learning the rules. We’ve rounded up several of our favorite social media resources that we subscribe to in order to stay on top of our game.

Podcasts 

For those that are constantly on the go, driving from meeting to meeting — podcasts are a fantastic tool as far as social media resources are concerned. We suggest that you subscribe to the Social Media Examiner Podcast and tune-in for longer rides. This podcast is filled with interviews from industry experts and the occasional applicable gold nugget for your business. The Social Media Lab Podcast from Agora Pulse consists of data-driven content in short, digestible episodes. It’s an excellent way to test whether what you thought you knew as a digital marketer is in fact…fact!

Websites

The issue with solely relying on podcasts as your educational resource is that they do not require your undivided attention and valuable information often ends up going in one ear and out the other. Which is why Social Media Examiner and the Social Media Lab have website counterparts that you can quickly refer back to what image editing app is a must-download or a new Facebook Ad approach that could be a game changer. 

Newsletters

It’s important to set yourself up for success, and instead of assuming you’ll set aside time each week to continue your digital marketing education… why not have the education come to you? Dedicate a folder of your inbox to continued learning and sign-up for the newsletters that promise valuable information alongside their sales offers. Some of these include the Planoly Blog, Digital Marketer, and the Alter Endeavors Newsletter. And when it’s time to buckle in and take notes, you can easily navigate to your folder and see what’s new in the social media world.

Free Downloads

If you’re looking for a comprehensive document to reference, we’ve created this Social Media Best Practices Whitepaper to help you get started down the right path. We are committed to creating valuable content that helps bring back the human element to the digital sphere and are always available to help you get interactive!

If there isn’t time in your day to learn from these social media resources — we suggest you entrust the responsibility of managing your social media platforms to someone whose job is to do just that. While it’s often cheaper to be a “do-it-yourself-er,” the end result isn’t always the best quality… especially if you dive in with little experience and no guidebook. Our approach is to create a comprehensive social media strategy that addresses your goals and is both cost-effective and worthwhile. If you’d like to discuss ways we can help you achieve your business goals, reach out! 

What You Need to Start Building Your Social Presence

social presence

When entering into a partnership with a client, there are a few important items we hope to acquire from our new client in the beginning. As a Digital Marketing Coordinator, my job is to elevate my client’s brand and showcase who they are and what is unique about the brand to the public, but that can be hard to do without the right tools to succeed. Below are some of the things we as a Digital Communications Agency try to acquire from our clients to start building their social presence.

Content

Content is probably one of the most important things we need from a client. In this day and age, visuals are what sell and without those, it can be hard to promote a brand. To start off, it’s important that we have a client’s logos, brand colors, high-quality headshots (if applicable), and any photos and videos they have. Getting this base of visual content can really go a long way in helping to market a brand.

Account Info

This information, while it’s not as glamorous as visuals, is a vital part of setting up or running a client’s social presence. If the client already has social accounts, we’ll need to gain access to those to be able to take over posting for them. If they haven’t created an account, it’s time to decide which email to use and create that account so that we can start building out their basic info and later their posts. During this process, we’ll discuss what username / handle the client would like to use and what information the bio should include.

Brand Identity/Personality

Here, we get into who the brand is and what they stand for. It’s important to figure out the personality of the brand, their mission, the audience we’ll be targeting and the style of writing the brand uses. Keeping a consistent brand image across all platforms is extremely important for brand recognition and recall. You want your audience to be able to go to any of your social platforms and instantly recognize who you are. If your platforms don’t match up, it could lead to losing followers due to confusion.

Goals

At the beginning, it is crucial to understand in specific terms our client’s goals. Is it more important to them to gain followers or to increase engagement? Create a community for people to come to or encourage people to visit the brick and mortar location? Once we determine the goals of our client, it’ll be a lot easier to start creating content and promoting the brand with those objectives in mind. While it’s important not to only “sell sell sell!” your client’s brand, finding out their goals can help you determine what aspects of the brand to promote and when.

Hopefully, if you are considering doing business with Alter Endeavors or are unsure of what type of information is needed to start building your social presence, this guide will help you form a solid base of knowledge for getting started. Cheers y’all!

Need Website Support? AE’s Hosting Plans May Just be the “Ticket”

website support

There are so many working parts to a website it won’t be long before it needs some help. Perhaps the content is dated, or in your images, you have that funky old haircut. Exactly what were you thinking? Or even worse, text is floating in the left margin, one of your menu items returns a 404 and your contact form notifies aliens when completed because no one you know gets an email. And then everyone’s favorite. “What on earth is my password?”

Looking at the website support landscape we knew it was difficult for small, independent organizations to get friendly, timely and helpful support for anything ranging from DNS problems to new pages to bad punctuation. Countless clients have complained to us that their last developer is out of business or won’t respond in a helpful way. Perhaps their site is hosted at one of those companies that spend too much money on questionable super bowl commercials to have excellent, timely and friendly support. Dealing with big companies, especially when there may be more than one involved, can be so frustrating and unproductive.

We listened. Alter Endeavors has combined flexible hosting and web management options with a helpful, responsive and easy to use support ticketing system where you can get help with your website issues no matter how big or small.

Alter Endeavors offers three options to help manage your website. Two are ongoing plans and a third option provides help only when you want it.

Basic Website Hosting Plan (Ongoing)

This plan is best for individuals and small companies that have websites that are important to them, but require only occasional, less complicated updates. It provides safe, secure and best-in-class hosting. We lease and manage our servers from Media Temple and we take care of support issues through them for you.

The plan is priced at $35 per month or $348 yearly. If you should need it, the opportunity to use our ticket support system at our standard rate of $125 is also available.

The base price on this plan covers standard backups and maintenance as it relates to basic hosting (keeping your site up!) It does not cover items or issues that may break or become outdated within your website or happen outside of our control such as problems at your registrar. For that, you will need to use our ticket system and pay the $125 per hour.

Deluxe Website Management Plan (Ongoing)

For those of you that place super importance on keeping your website in tip-top operating shape and have the need to update it fairly often, we offer our deluxe website management option.

It includes so many benefits and I don’t like super long paragraphs, I’ll include a bulleted list!

  • Everything included in the basic plan mentioned before, plus:
  • Monthly Site Backups
  • Hacking Protocols – In the very unlikely event your site goes down from hacking or a code update glitch, Alter Endeavors will recover the last working version of your site from our site backups (no more than 30 days old) to be sure you have a working site. We will then dive into the issue to determine the root issue and resolve it at no additional cost to you.
  • Necessary WordPress theme and plugin updates for security and stability
  • Quality Assurance checks after updates to be sure nothing on your site broke after an update
  • 1 hour of support to be used however you wish (towards design, content, coding, training, etc.) – Can build up to 3 support hours in reserve at a time (if you don’t use an hour one month, it will roll over to the next month with a max of 3 hours in reserve at a time). Our response time on support tickets for this service is within 8 business hours.
  • A reduced hourly rate of $100/hour (instead of our agency $125/hour) for additional support time during normal business hours – (9AM-6PM CST Mon – Fri)
  • A reduced emergency hourly rate – $175/hour (instead of $250/hour) for any immediate support time needed outside of our normal business hours
    Whew! That’s a lot for only $200 per month, so if keeping your website up and available, updated and looking good is important, this is the program for you.

Ticket Website Support Only (Hourly rate)

If these plans are not quite what you’re looking for, consider registering with us for hourly support. You can do this by sending an email to steve@alterendeavors.com and we’ll put you down as a person that is entitled to our excellent support system at our standard hourly rate of $125/hour.

You can read more about the details of our hosting plans at this link Website Support and Hosting.

Meet Christopher Jennings!

Christopher Jennings

Every once in awhile, we like to shake it up at Alter Endeavors and spotlight one of our incredible people and their accomplishments. It’s past time for us to brag on Christopher Jennings.

Christopher Jennings aka “Topher,” the Director of Website Operations at Alter Endeavors, just got back from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) National Conference in Los Angeles. That’s right, besides running the most complicated department at Alter Endeavors, Christopher S. Jennings is a man of many talents.

Christopher has worked at AE for a little over 3 years now and was our very first hire after Nick and Jamie (the owners). So, it should go without saying that Christopher means a lot to us —he’s like family. Not only does he head up the department of Web Operations at AE, but he’s also an illustrator and author for children’s publications. Like we said earlier, superbly talented.

Topher has illustrated dozens of published works for children (and he has even written a few of them too). Though he’s obviously extremely talented, he’s also incredibly versatile. He’s worked in publishing, gaming, editorial, advertising, entertainment, animation, commercial, apparel, apps and even drawn greeting cards for American Greetings. (Phew. What a list!)

It’s Topher’s focus on children’s books, and why they are important to him, that makes him extra incredible in our humble opinion. As a kid, reading didn’t come easy. His mother read him picture books to ease him into it. Picture books allowed him to learn to read while making sure not to discourage or dissuade him in the arduous process of learning how letters formed words. Huge props to Christopher’s mother, who says she still has Green Eggs and Ham memorized from all of those repeated readings. Although picture books helped Christopher read, their visuals also fostered Christopher’s love for the fun (but important) things, the light-hearted things, and how to visually interpret those things.

Christopher is the author of Hello, Texas! as well as the author and illustrator of the picture book Animal Band, both published by Sterling Publishing. He has drawn for published works for such companies as Penguin Group Books, Scholastic and Stone Arch Books (to name a few.) Christopher was chosen as the featured illustrator for SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) in September 2015. That year he was selected from volunteers around the country and given a grant—SCBWI flew Christopher up to New York, all expenses paid, for the annual conference. In October of 2016 Christopher took the reins as illustrator coordinator for the Austin chapter.

When asked what his favorite part of the creative process is, Christopher replied that “he loves the revision process.” Not only does this make him an exceptionally talented artist, this is why Alter Endeavors has built so many impressive websites over the past few years for some really important folks. What’s more, people love working with Christopher. He is kind, patient, understanding, experienced, and forward-thinking.

Not many super creative folks are able to be even half as organized and focused as Christopher, which has a lot to do with why he was made animation lead for the film A Scanner Darkly and why so many folks choose to work with Alter Endeavors. We are proud and thankful to have Topher as part of the Alter Endeavors core family. If you want to check out his awesome work, click here.