Category: Entreprenuer

01 Mar

Diversify and Diversity: Doble R Media brand launches

Business, Content, Entreprenuer, Featured


Smirk New Media is changing today.

That sentence has been many months in the making.

When I launched “a company” in 2010, it couldn’t even really be called that. It was just me, a used laptop and a bag full of hope and gumption.

Fast forward to today: We have a great team. We are trying new things while working on audacious goals. But Smirk New Media isn’t big enough to do all that we want to do.

Today we are launching two new companies. The first is pretty exciting. Doble R Media is a new brand which will take all of the best practices we’ve learned about marketing and deliver them to clients who are part of (or who are trying to reach) the Spanish-speaking market in Oklahoma City. This idea grew out of needs our clients had in 2015 and blossomed when we brought Liz Ramirez on board. Response has already been great to this brand, even before its official launch today. Liz will serve as Doble’s managing director. Please check out the new Doble R website at www.DobleR.Media

In conjunction with the Doble rollout is the creation of another new company – Smirk Solutions.

Smirk Solutions is my attempt to be Warren Buffett. 🙂 Smirk Solutions will serve the umbrella over all of our brands – Smirk New Media, Doble R Media, ‘Merica Media (which serves political campaigns and clients) and Social Network Staffing. This will allow me to work on an overall vision for all that we do, while empowering our team to execute and work closer with clients.

Allie Carrick will now serve as managing director of Smirk New Media. Penny Seale is my partner with ‘Merica Media.

This is a great day. I couldn’t be happier with the work everyone has put into the success we have had in 2016. If you have any questions about working with us, for us or beside us, please feel free to reach out.

Onward and upward,

Mike Koehler

23 Feb

Rediscovering a redesign, finding fun in February

Mike Koehler Business, Content, Entreprenuer, SEO, Small Business, Social, social media, Twitter

What is it about February?

Maybe it’s the ability to breathe after the busyness of the holidays and the inevitable re-evaluation of all things that happens around New Year’s.

That one-one punch, along with the fun and challenges that come with our continued growth seems to hit Smirk New Media in February as well.

In 2012, it was the first major overhaul of our website. In 2014, it was the launch of Social Network Staffing. Today, it’s a brand new version of our website – the best yet. We felt like it was a critical time to do it for a few reasons, a few of which we hear echoed by clients.

First, is this whole February thing again. I don’t think it’s just us who get antsy about flexing our creative muscles, and trying out new ideas. All our pals at the most popular social media platforms have been bowling us over with changes since the new year flipped. Twitter has added native video, group direct messages and continues to improve promoted Tweets. Facebook tweaked the rules for promotional content and is turning social media video on its head. Pinterest is getting deeper metrics. LinkedIn’s muscular content publishing abilities are growing. Instagram is opening up ads to more brands and Snapchat keeps being gross.

With the challenge of keeping up with those changes is one of our most important roles — to provide great social media strategy — the Smirk New Media brains have to be the first line of defense for our clients. We wanted our site to reflect that speed of change and how important relevance is in what we do.

Second, words are important. We do words. We aren’t designers or developers, coders or conductors. We create great online content, on social media and on the web. It was time our own “words on the web” got an overhaul. Each one counts. It counts for us and it definitely counts for other small businesses looking to break through to a larger audience. Words matter to search engine optimization (SEO), words matter for strategy, words matter in content strategy. Honestly, I was getting tired of using the “shoemaker’s children” excuse as to why our site was older than the web sites we’d project managed. No more excuses. Only results.

Finally, here’s to flexibility and personality.

When we talk about “Smirk New Media” to someone new to us, there’s always that puzzled look of “You’re what now?” about the name of the company. When I get a speaking engagement, I often hear about my “unique” or “laid-back” speaking style. We have a Smirk New Media way of doing things. We’re not a huge, full service agency. We’re small, we’re scrappy, we have fun and fight to do the best job we can in space that drives us crazy and makes us happy. We want a site that reflects what we try to explain to everyone about the Smirk name and what we do. A smirk is an intersection of a ridiculousness and seriousness. We know that’s what we do and we’re glad to do with with more and more clients in new and improved ways.

17 Jan

Trust, Truth and What to Make of Te’o

Mike Koehler Content, Entreprenuer, Featured, life, social media Tags: , , , , 0 Comments

My thoughts on Manti Te’o case:

The web has changed the way we think about relationships. Who “our friends” are is different than a few years ago, when a thin connection and a couple of online chats didn’t constitute something to be thought of as a real friendship.
Of course, as may or may not be the case with T’eo, truth and identity has changed because of the web. I could go online right now and create the life of a college co-ed. She could have a Twitter and a Facebook account. I could fill in a random high school, stock it with photos that are just a right-click away. Then I could find a chat site and become that person. Behind this monitor, anyone can become anyone.
Whether Te’o was in it or no just speaks to the overall notion of what the online world has done to “truth”. Remember, today is also the day that Lance Armstrong is speaking. How much Te’o knew and when he knew it is caught up in the flow of information between him, the girlfriend/hoaxer and the media waiting to spread a good story.
Finally, that’s where I feel the strongest in all of this. This shows the continuing flux of movement beneath the feet of the media, as it grew from a feel-good story that made for great (albeit shallowly reported) pieces on ESPN, to something that was “a Deadspin story” into a time of self-reflection for those reporters who were taken in by what may have been a massive con by someone who almost won the Heisman.
In a way this story both hurts and helps our trust in what we see online. It should make more people skeptical about whether a drama or tragedy that sounds too-good-to-be-true is, but it should also show us that sites like Deadspin, which lure us with lurid, linkbait headlines every day are also close enough to the web to understand it and report on it.


04 Jan

5 business tips for my jean-shorted, 21-year-old self

Mike Koehler Content, Entreprenuer, Featured, life, Mike Koehler, Small Business, SmallBiz Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Becoming an entrepreneur late in my career – after 15 years in print journalism – I had a dearth of business knowledge that I had to catch up on really quickly. So there's lots of advice to offer my 21-year-old English major self.



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