Give with intention, not for attention


Small deeds and little things matter a big deal.  Which local community are you involved with this year?

New Year should bring not just new big goals for your business, your health or travel plans.  They should also include goals and specific ideas how you can give back to the community.  We believe in the saying “Do good. And good will come to you.”


At LA76 Strategic Design we love being part of the community, and we get involved however we can.  In the past years, we have helped with the local El Camino school, got involved with Casa Hogar, and indirectly contributed to the construction of sustainable homes for people damaged the most by Hurricane Odile.  One of the local charity institutions we have been involved with the most so far is Los Cabos Humane Society.  We have created their website for Dressed to the K9’s event for three consecutive years.  And for the year 2016 we have decided to engage with the dogs themselves.  This year we’ll be contributing to the shelter with food and time donations.  Those wagging tails and big grateful eyes make our hearts full each time we spend time with them.  We hope your 2016 is full of similar stories of giving, sharing, engagement, and gratitude.


Here are just a couple of ideas how you can get involved and give back.  Small deeds matter a lot.

Easy Ways to Give Back This Year:
1. Get one extra.  When you buy a food for your dog or cat, buy one additional bag, and take it to your local association.  This can work also if you buy an extra toy, blanket, or other living essentials; just drop them off at the appropriate organization.  You can apply the same for buying toys or clothes for your child, and donate the extra piece to the appropriate organization.

2. Bring your old towels, sheets and blankets to an animal shelter. More room in your linen closet and more warmth for furry friends who need it.

3. Take a walk. If you can’t donate with cash or products, then give your time. At Los Cabos Humane Society, for example, they walk dogs twice per day, and with the amount of pups they have, the employees at the shelter can’t handle to walk all the dogs by themselves. When we visited, we took several dogs for a walk, and a couple of families and students were helping as well. The dogs need these walks and appreciate your assistance greatly. You can see it in their eyes and big smiles.


4. Play together. If you like a game of cards or a nice conversation, or if you miss your grandparents, visit elderly home, and have a game of cards or chess with its residents. They will appreciate your visit greatly. You can also play with kids at the orphanage, or with dogs at the shelter.

5. Make someone’s day brighter. Gather presents or school supplies for local orphanage homes with your friends and make their day a happy one.

6. (Virtually) adopt a dog, cat, whale, dolphin, … or become a sponsor to a child. If you can’t adopt a dog or a cat from a shelter, you can still commit with a monthly donation. You can also virtually adopt a whale, a dolphin, a sea lion or a turtle, as well as become a padrino to a child in need.


7. Make the workout extra worth it.  Download an app like Charity Miles.  For each mile you walk, ride or run, they’ll donate to the charity you choose from their list. Kudos to the developer, we’d love to see a similar project come through for charities in Mexico.

8. Make an emergency kit for someone who could use it (in Cabo San Lucas, hurricane emergency kit is crucial). Stock a plastic bin with essentials like batteries and a flashlight, or food essentials, and give it to people you think might appreciate it, or the organization that can distribute them to the communities or neighborhoods in need.

9. Every good deed counts. Help the elderly carry their grocery bags, pay a coffee forward to the person behind you, give your seat to somebody else.

We hope that whichever community or purpose you decide to contribute to this year, you give with intention, not for attention.

*All the photos in this post are from our visit and walk with lovely dogs at the Los Cabos Humane Society.

11 Favorite Things in 2015


2015 was a fantastic year, and our plan is to make 2016 even better.  Here are just some of our favorite things in 2015, in no particular order of preference:

  1. Blog strategy we created for Pisces Real Estate proved very successful; it generated 3 real estate sales, resulting in more than $1 mio USD. There’s no better proof that a good blogging strategy works!
  2. Another blog strategy that took off in the last two years is for Luxury Villa Collections. Their local guide to Los Cabos and travel tips are driving the visitors through the roof!
  3. A10 architecture studio and their collaboration in CapaLab with a social housing project in rammed earth was a winner in at least two categories. First, they helped provide a solution for sustainable social housing for the most affected by Hurricane Odile in Los Cabos. Besides that, their Casa O was selected to be presented at the Venice Biennale 2016. Well deserved! Media outreach we did for the project resulted in several top publications as well.
  4. We’re proud of our clients Pisces Sportfishing – in the last year alone they won several fishing tournaments; among them  Los Cabos Billfish Tournament 2015 with the largest tuna, two wins at the Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot 2015 and the Los Cabos Big Game Charter Boat Classic. Pretty great fishing year, and well deserved! Read the news here.
  5. Our social media client and friend, writer Madison Lake published 2 books in 2015 (that’s six books in total for her). Unexpectedly, one of the books was dedicated to our owner, Romana Lilic – we’re so honored. If you haven’t read any of her books yet, you can start now. Find them here.
  6. Capella Ixtapa received another series of accolades in 2015: Ranked #5 “Best Hotels in Mexico 2015” by U.S. News & World Report; Ranked #6 “TOP 25 Hotels in Mexico” by TripAdvisor; 2015 Ranked #8 “TOP 25 Hotels for Romance” in México, by TripAdvisor; Ranked #6 “TOP 25 Luxury Hotels in Mexico” by TripAdvisor; Ranked #3 “TOP 25 Best Services Hotels” in México by TripAdvisor. Top!
  7. International media strategy for Acapulco Chairs brought them to the biggest Canadian daily, La Presse Canada. See the feature here.
  8. 176% increase in Facebook followings for Captain Tony’s thanks to a well-planned and executed social media strategy and great collaboration toward the same goal with the client.
  9. Branding projects for Alma Vallejo Cabo Makeup and Hair Professionals, and Indigo Pilates Studio.
  10. Collaboration with Middle Tennessee State University, MTSU, and creating a social media workshop for students during their 3-week study abroad project in Cabo San Lucas.
  11. Traveling all around Mexico with Pink Palm Photo.

At LA76 Strategic Design we are grateful for all our clients and business partners, and look forward to amazing 2016 together!

Social Media Tips: Get More From Meerkat and Periscope with Katch


If you love Meerkat and Periscope, but wish both of these apps would offer more functionalities than ‘just’ live streaming, try Katch!
Katch enables you to easily record, permanently archive and automatically publish your broadcasts from either of the apps with one tweet.  

How Katch works:
– Sign into and connect it to your Meerkat or Periscope accounts (or both)
– Open your favorite live streaming app
– Add #katch hashtag to your title
– Tap the Twitter icon so Katch can see your stream
– Katch starts recording your stream, including your comments and hearts
– After you end your broadcast, @KatchHQ will send you a link on Twitter
– Tap on the link to view your replay
– You can play, fast forward and rewind your video
– You can also view and scroll through all your comments
– All your broadcasts are stored permanently in the cloud.

Katch is a free app, sign up for it at

If you need help with your live video marketing or social media marketing strategy, email us at We’d be glad to be of help!

Outsider Magazine


Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.

– Benjamin Franklin

We love good reading, even more so if it comes in a well-crafted printed form.  One of the magazines we’re into lately is Outsider Magazine, issued in Slovenian and German.  The third issue just went to print, and until we receive it in Mexico, we still have a couple of articles to read from the Outsider issue #2 – Don’t Panic.  Outsider is a magazine about architecture, culture and personalities.  Great writing from some great individuals.  LA76 Strategic Design’s owner Romana Lilic is humbled to be among the contributors.

Get more information about Outsider magazine and your copy on their website or Facebook.

Mala and Mantra’s “I Am Cabo” Collection Raises Funds For Cabo Locals Damaged by Odile


At LA76 Strategic Design we are proud to be part of Mala and Mantra’s efforts to help build awareness and raise funds for the most damaged by Hurricane Odile.  Mala and Mantra‘s I Am Cabo Collection is the first in the “Crafted for a Cause” Series, with the aim to benefit relief efforts in Los Cabos on the one year anniversary of hurricane Odile. LA76 is part of the project with lifestyle and product photographs of the collection.

Mala and Mantra, a consciously created accessories company, has launched its “Crafted for a Cause” line designed to raise funds for pressing social causes.  The first in the series is the “I Am Cabo Collection,” a Cabo-inspired bracelet line that will donate five dollars of every sale to the Cabo Hurricane Fund, a nonprofit organization committed to providing emergency relief and rebuilding the Los Cabos neighborhoods of Mexico that were devastated by Hurricane Odile last September.


Inspired by the colors and textures of the famous Cabo arch and picturesque sun, sea, and sand, this beautiful collection for both men and women features two mala bracelet variations strung with whitewood, rosewood, yellow jade, picture jasper, and howlite turquoise.

Hurricane Odile, one of the most destructive hurricanes on record in the region, destroyed an estimated 8,000 homes primarily in the poorer urban communities, displacing thousands of families.  While the economic and tourist regions have largely been rebuilt over the past year, many local residents still lack permanent housing.

The Cabo Hurricane Fund was formed to support these most vulnerable communities in Los Cabos, and this past August, the first family was able to move into their new home (read more about it here).  The sustainable social housing solution was strategically planned and designed by Capa LAB‘s founders Mariano Arias Diez (a10 studio) and Gonzalo Elizarraras (fabriKG).  With current funding, the Cabo Hurricane Fund will be able to build about 30 more houses, but hopes to continue their work through further partnerships and support from companies like Mala and Mantra.

“The I Am Cabo collection will be an incredible support for the Cabo Hurricane Fund project,” says Craig Nason, associate director of the Grassroots Global Development Foundation, which has managed the fund. “Beyond bringing funding to our housing projects, the pieces themselves capture the beauty and resilience of the Cabo community.  They are a reminder of our initial vision and a celebration of the global community that is participating in post-Odile recovery.”

In the future,  Judith Compton, the founder and creator of the California-based accessories line, plans to continue “Crafted for a Cause” with collections that will raise money for causes including breast cancer research and support for children and education in impoverished communities, as well as establish jewelry-making programs that will support women in need.  To have the greatest impact possible, Mala and Mantra conducts extensive research to ensure that each non-profit supported allocates the majority of funds directly towards its cause.

“I created Mala and Mantra to spread the message of mindfulness, empower underprivileged women through sustainable work, and provide support to those who need it most,” Compton says. “While all of our current items are crafted by a fair trade women’s cooperative in the Philippines, I also wanted to design a new collection several times a year that would assist and provide wellness to the global community.”

The “I am Cabo” bracelets are beautiful, fun to layer and mix, and everyone at LA76 team uses them daily!  To get your  #IAmCabo bracelet or learn more about #CraftedForACause, please visit their website here.

The I am Cabo bracelets are available for purchase also in Cabo San Lucas at: The Spa at Pedregal, AlmArte at Resort at Pedregal, V Fraiche restaurant, Villa Valentina, and One & Only Palmilla.

mala-and-mantra-la76-3aAbout Mala and Mantra:  Mala and Mantra was created in Spring 2013 by retail industry expert Judith P. Compton.  Its debut collection of fashionable, handmade, and hand-knotted mala bead bracelets and necklaces was unveiled in February 2014 and features a lineup of 36 products designed with intention in San Diego and consciously created in the Philippines.  With a focus on wellness, mindfulness, and self-discovery, Mala and Mantra products support their wearers in living a life of intention.

Photo credit: LA76 Photography

The Importance of a Responsive Web Design

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Recently we finished a branding process and a responsive website design for a Los Cabos makeup and hair company, Alma Vallejo.  Their old brand identity and website didn’t fit their image and needs anymore, so we worked with them to create a new visual identity and website, which would have stress on imagery, show their latest work, and be responsive to any device the users are accessing the website from.

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Mobile internet usage has been skyrocketing over the last few years. According to a Morgan Stanley report, mobile internet usage has surpassed desktop usage in 2014, and it’s only continuing to grow (see the chart here).  Even with this compelling evidence, the vast majority of business websites are still not mobile-friendly.  This is not only causing a headache for users, but also a loss in business opportunity.

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These stats on mobile internet use from Smart Insights show why we need a mobile website.

  • Over 20% of Google searches are performed on a mobile device.
  • In 2012, more than half of local searches were performed on a mobile device.
  • In the United States, 25% of internet users only access the internet on a mobile device.
  • 61% of people have a better opinion of brands when they offer a good mobile experience.
  • 25.85% of all emails are opened on mobile phones, and 10.16% are opened on tablets.

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According to Google’s Think Insights on mobile, if a user lands on your mobile website and is frustrated or doesn’t see what they are looking for, there’s a 61% chance they will leave immediately and go to another website (most likely a competitor).  It’s also said that if they have a positive experience with your mobile website, a user is 67% more likely to buy a product or use a service.

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Responsive web design isn’t a trend any more, it’s a must. Being able to offer consumers a beautiful optimized experience regardless of their choice of device means you’ll have expanded the reach of your service and the chances you have of engaging with individuals. The long lasting nature of this approach is incredibly valuable and the cost effectiveness is a clear advantage. – Tahmid Hossain

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7 Reasons You Need a Responsive Web Design:

  • Mobile Internet Use is Exploding.  We use internet more on mobile than on desktop (plus see all the facts and stats above).
  • Responsive web design adapts to current and future devices.  One of the big benefits of responsive design is that the size of the template is designed based on screen size, not device. This means that no matter what size screen someone is viewing your website, it will display properly for that screen size.

  • Better, faster, smarter user experience.  Optimizing your site no matter what the user chooses to view it on makes their life easier.  Happier customers means a happier business.

  • Cost Effective.  Responsive sites take a little longer to put together, but they survive longer and the unified approach means management, support and upgrades only need be applied to one place.  That saves time and money.

  • Responsive design is optimised for SEO.  Managing SEO for separate mobile and desktop sites is hard and doesn’t produce great results.  Google actually recommends a responsive approach to combat these problems and a consolidated view of your results means more focus.

  • Improve conversion rates.  An optimised and consistent site, no matter what platform it’s viewed on, provides a better experience for the user which is more likely to lead to them engaging with you than going elsewhere.

  • Blogging and social activities bring mobile visitors.  If you’re like most inbound marketers and have elements of blogging and social media incorporated in your strategy, you probably have been seeing increased mobile traffic.  A recent study by ComScore cites that 55% of social media consumption happens on a mobile device.  With that being said, if you’re sharing out content links or links to your website and don’t have a mobile-friendly website, you’re not only going to experience high bounce rates and low conversion rates, but also a frustrated audience.

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Sources: Hubspot, Webstars*, Tahmid Hossain

Images made with PlaceIt application, brand identity and website design of Alma Vallejo by La76 Strategic Design.

10 Social Media Trends for the Next 10 Years


10 social media trends

Our social media strategies are constantly evolving, adapting and changing.  And while you probably map out your social media strategy each year, and have is as a part of general marketing strategy of your brand or company, we all know that adaptation and flexibility is key, and that the only constant thing is change.

And while it’s hard to predict what the future holds for social media, there are certain trends that can be pinpointed.  Below are 10 social media trends for the next decade, as predicted by Peter Kim from Cheil.

10 Social Media Trends for the Next 10 Years:

1. Evolving
The way consumers use sites and the way brands participate and engage have changed fundamentally over the past 10 years.  Brands must adopt customer relationship and engagement strategies that harness data for long-term growth.

2. Shoppable
Social media has long escaped the scrutiny of the chief financial officer and it’s time for brands to monetise social media efforts.  Fashion brands, such as Burberry and Ralph Lauren, understand this and have made their runway videos shoppable.  Now, every brand should incorporate financial calls to action in social media content.
** Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram have or are in the process of introducing Buy buttons already.

3. Snackable
Consumers are finding it increasingly difficult to digest long-form content.  When browsing, users want to get to the heart of the message as quickly as possible.  The more snackable a brand makes its content, the more social it will be.  Easy to understand means easy to share, which translates into better results for content and campaigns.

4. Automated
Currently, ad placement and publishing in social is a manual process.  This will evolve to better utilise data and computers.  Most advertisers are already shifting display and video budgets into this type of media buying, and social media will follow suit.  Why?  All consumers hate ads because of interruption, irrelevance and clutter.  Programmatic placement (the insertion of ads and native content into social media sites) can help drive context, relevance and efficiency of messaging.

5. Connective
The power of our increasingly powerful mobile devices as social utilities are where great potential lies.  The ability to develop transformative applications that connect individuals to individuals but also societies to societies holds great potential.

6. Filtered
Increasingly powerful and affordable technology allows people to create more content than ever before.  In fact, 90% of the world’s data has been created over the past two years. Because of this information overload, people will filter out messages to hear only what they want to hear, creating segmented and sheltered media channels.

7. Integrated
Social media sites act as brand graveyards, filled with the tombstones of dead campaigns that were only meant to survive a single campaign.  From TV commercials and billboards to microsites and social media accounts, brands must focus on using platforms for long-term relationship building.

8. Chinese
China currently contributes the greatest percentage to global GDP growth. However, many Chinese social media sites remain focused on the local market.  Over the next 10 years, these sites will shift their focus beyond the “great firewall” and enter overseas markets.

9. Subcutaneous
With all the excitement about wearables, it’s easy to forget about the internet of things.  More importantly, it’s the concept of addressability – the ability for a device to receive a message or signal – that brands need to figure out.  The natural evolution of consumer devices is into implantables, which are the ultimate personal technology.

10. Empowering
Some brands, such as Dove and Nike, have discovered that supporting social good can have a greater impact than feeding individual egos.  Other brands will follow suit and use social media efforts to look at the long tail, identifying opportunities to foster empowerment and equality aligned with brand values.

Brands must change their mindset to engage successfully in the future. Marketers must embrace their inner digital geek and learn to love technology.  To harness trends, they must look beyond their borders, specifically to the east where Asia leads the way.  Realising that their current techniques are outdated will lead brands to new strategies for success in the next decade.

What do you think are the social media trends for the next decade?  Leave a comment below.  It will be interesting to see in a couple of years how these predictions stand in that time’s reality.

Myth vs. Reality: Jack of All Trades, Master of None

generalist vs specialist

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. – Robert A. Heinlein

Plenty has been said already on the topic of “generalists” vs. “specialists”, with influencers and scholars defending one view or the other.  At LA76 we do think being ‘Jack of many’ trades is useful, existential and exciting.

Tim Ferriss shares his top 5 reasons to be a Jack of All Trades here.

The Best Online Tools to Schedule and Post on Instagram


Instagram has quickly grown from a fun and trendy mobile phone app to a massive and influential social network, which is now even bigger than Twitter.  Last December Instagram shared their latest statistics; there are 300 million active monthly Instagram users, and 75 million daily Instagram users.

Many companies have added Instagram to their list of primary social media channels, and if you are managing social media for you personally, for your company, and even more so if you are managing Instagram for more companies, you know that  juggling with different Instagram accounts can be hard sometimes.  Especially so, because Instagram app doesn’t allow you to manage multiple accounts and schedule posts, which requires logging out and back in when posting between accounts.  While we don’t approve of scheduling posts for the sake of spamming your followers, we do think scheduling Instagram posts can be of great help so you can plan your posts accordingly when you are pressed with time, and prepare high-quality images to share with your followers.

While there are several scheduling only tools for Instagram – they don’t enable you to publish posts on Instagram, but allow scheduling, and when it’s time for publishing, they will send you a reminder, so you can go to the app and do it yourself (this is not convenient when you have no access to your phone or if your phone battery dies).  Among these scheduling only Instagram tools are Latergramme and TakeOff.

If you are looking for a tool that will help you schedule AND post on Instagram, then I recommend you to try these two:

1. Schedugram


ScheduGram is for social media managers who need an easier way to manage Instagram for their clients and brands. Schedugram features web uploading, scheduling, and supports multiple accounts.   I have been testing Schedugram in early 2014, when they were just starting out, and gave them a second try this spring as well.  What I love about ScheduGram is the ability to upload, schedule and post Instagram posts for multiple accounts – after you schedule your post, the tool will publish it as scheduled, you won’t need to approve or push the post to go out.  Their photo editing tool is fantastic, you’ll be able to crop your photo, fix colors or add filters.  You can also do bulk uploads and add multiple users for the account, so your team members can help you with scheduling.  Schedugram also allows unlimited uploads of both photos and videos, and unlimited invited users.  Schedugram lets you see scheduled posts, but you can’t see the previously published posts.  Scheduled posts are lined up in your Scheduled Posts page.

The pricing of Schedugram is set of $20 USD for an Instagram account with less than 10,000 followers.  ScheduGram offers 7 day free trial.

2. Onlypult

instagram scheduling-onlypult

I’ve learned about Onlypult Instagram scheduling and posting tool about 10 days ago.  I decided to test it out, and 7 days into using the service, I really like it and have decided to stay with this tool instead of Schedugram.  OnlyPult also allows you to manage multiple accounts, upload your photos through the web, schedule them, and add multiple users (there are different pricing plans that allow you different types of usage).

Onlypult has a very user friendly dashboard.  Each connected account has it’s own tab where you can see scheduled posts, review the page with already published posts (even the posts you published before joining Onlypult), you can see your scheduled posts in a calendar view, which I find a neat feature, so you can plan your campaigns or posts accordingly.  In the future, Onlypult is promising to add analytics as well, and they have a Planner feature, which is similar to Buffer Schedule, where you can set up posting times, and when adding new posts, Planner can add them up and publish as you scheduled.  While I think Onlypult tool is more user friendly than Schedugram, I prefer Schedugram’s photo editing tool, which is more advanced and useful as in Onlypult.

Onlypult pricing is more accessible than with SheduGram; START plan with 3 Instagram accounts and 1 man management costs $12 USD/month, SMM plan with 7 Instagram accounts and 2 man management costs $20 USD/month, AGENCY plan with 20 Instagram accounts and 3 man in management costs $39 USD/month.  Onlypult also offers 7 day free trial.

Are you using an Instagram scheduling and/or posting tool, or have any questions regarding Instagram?  Share your favorites, comments and questions with us in the comments below.

You can find me on Instagram here.  Screenshots made with Place it app.

Procrastinate on Purpose and Multiply Your Time

procrastinate on purpose

There is no such thing as time management, only self management, says Rory Vaden during his Social Media Marketing podcast with Michael Stelzner, and I couldn’t agree more with him.  I often find that the abundance of apps and tools that are designed to help you “manage time”, ultimately take more time from you – nobody can manage time, but you can manage how you spend it.

Rory Vaden, the New York Times bestselling author of Take the Stairs—a bold new way to get things done, has his new book out, titled Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time, and I encourage you to listen to the podcast (here), and read the book.  As Rory explains during the interview “In the world we live in today, time management isn’t just logical, it’s emotional.  Our feelings of guilt, fear, worry and anxiety, as well as our desire for success and our need to feel valued dictate how we spend our time—as much as our inbox, our to-do list and our calendar do.  There’s also a new type of thinker that has emerged: the multiplier.”

In his new book Rory Vaden explains his strategy on how to procrastinate on purpose and multiply your time.

You multiply time by giving yourself the emotional permission to invest time in the things today that create more time or results tomorrow.

Check out his website here, and his books here: Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time and Take the Stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving True Success.

I also loved the quote below, which Rory shared at the end of his interview on Social Media Marketing podcast.  You have to give your best each and every day.

“Success is never owned, success is rented, and the rent is due ever day.”

*If you are interested in this topic, you might also like Greg McKeown’s book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.  I talk about it in my blog post here.