Ok, I confess I'm a closet Runner's World newswire junkie, I actually check out their page almost daily. I've never admitted this publically, but I do rank runner's news higher than politics or world news. There. I said it. Sort of like Jodie Foster's declaration at the Golden Globes.
So, with my dark obesssion comes all sorts of news and tidbits. But today, I have to say, I'm saddened to see the design world going down such a dark path.
That is, split toed shoes from Topo. Really? Really. Barf. Like any normal person thinks they look attractive with shoes that make you look like a camel? Let alone reference the unspeakable camel toe. Just sayin'.
So, sadly, as the CEOs at Tobo pat themselves on the back for this "design breakthrough"; I declare a breakdown. Stop making runners look goofier than we already are, stop making shoes that would make my already super long size 9 narrow skinny pads stick out worse than they already do. Stop the shame, and go back to the drafting table.
Guest Blogger Sue Henry of Sue Henry Talks shares strategies on selling yourself in speaking roles when you can't.
Have you turned down “free” speaking opportunities because you weren’t allowed to sell from the stage? A creative speaking strategy can help you turn “free” speaking gigs into profitable, brand-building opportunities.
Here are a few of the tips that have helped me sell thousands of dollars in products at events, even when selling from the stage wasn’t an option.
• Compartmentalize your talk with transitions that set yourself up as the expert. For example, my most requested speaking topic is “Social Media Marketing Success in 15 Minutes a Day… for those who aren’t 20-something anymore!”
I divide my talk into segments. Opening, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs, Twitter, Closing. Here’s how I breakdown the timing of my presentation:
• 4 minutes: Opening
• 45 minutes: Facebook, LinkedIn & Blogs
• 3 minutes: Twitter
• 6 minutes: The door prize (the secret sauce of the presentation)
• 2 minutes: The Closing
As I transition from one topic to the next, I say in a somewhat frustrated tone, “I have so much more to share about this but because of time, (I tap my watch), we need to move on”. I then go into the next topic. I repeat this process until the door prize section.
Using this method provides an easy transition from one topic to the next while planting the subconscious thought in your audience that you know so much more than you’re able to share at this time. You aren’t holding back – time is! You’ll set yourself up as a credible expert AND demonstrate that your products offer much more than the little bit of information you’ve given from the stage.
• Have a door prize of one of your products/packages. Describe in glowing details what the person is winning and the benefits the package offers (not features of the package) and then drumroll…. Draw the name! Have the product in your hand so they can see it. Create energy within your audience!
• Get them to follow you to the back of the room. NEVER take questions from the stage! Here’s what to say as the last line of your close: “I’m sure some of you have questions. If you meet me in the back of the room (or wherever your products are located) and I’ll be happy to answer them.”
Stand next to your product table and position yourself so that the people waiting in line are standing next to your products. This creates curiosity and easy access resulting in “spontaneous” sales. The more people who pick up your products, the more products you’ll sell! Offer to autograph! When others see you autographing products, it inspires them to buy the product so they can get it personalized, too. This creates validation for some people who are having trouble deciding if they want to buy.
• Have someone else behind the table processing orders and handing out the products. Your role is to be the speaker, not the order-taker. You’ve spent all this time building your credibility – continue to build rapport and relationships by engaging with the people who took the time to come back and talk with you.
If you don’t have someone who can travel with you in this role, ask the planner of the event who they would recommend to help you. If you have “fans” in the audience that you already have a relationship with, ask them for help in advance. Offer to pay them or see if they’d like to barter for products.
Your job isn’t to lead the horse to water. Your job is to make the horse thirsty! By implementing these 4 tips into your speaking engagements, you’ll find that your audience will thirst for more information and you can quench their thirst!
Sue Henry Workshop and Training Diva - seminars that do more than teach and inspire, they deliver results and profits!
A new guest Blog from Traffic Resources International President, Dan Wegner, enjoy.
Using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn are great ways to "shout out" to the world around you. With a little know-how you can reach out to nearly ONE BILLION USERS! That's the approximate total users of all the social networks combined.
Facebook is my favorite because of it's 500 million users and the amount of time the average user spends on it every month (see the facebook stats page). Properly using Facebook requires some planning for those of us who use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family. Without adequate planning it may be difficult to keep your private life private. Thankfully, Facebook offers at least two ways to reach out without allowing everyone in your audience to know what you ate for breakfast. Facebook Pages allow you to create a public face to your audience while Facebook Groups are a nice way to share outside your inner circle.
Twitter is perfect for the fast-paced among us. There are ways to look like you're always go-go-go even when you're not - like TRI's Twit-O-Matic. So whether you're on the bleeding edge or not, you can make a big splash with 140 characters and Twitter.
YouTube puts all the power of modern communications at your fingertips. $100 can make you famous but $1000 (well-spent) can make you a superstar! But don't forget to craft your message well, learn some audio and video basics - then go hog-wild!
LinkedIn simply isn't optional and if done right can pay off in spades! And while LinkedIn doesn't have a brand like Google, it has a bright future. LinkedIn has hired a lot of brain-power away from Google in the last year and it's really starting to show.
To really make any of these work for you, you need to commit to content creation, whether it's articles, blogs, video or podcasts. Then simply use the above tools to push your content out to the masses.
If you fear all that content creation will put you on the fast track to a repetitive motion injury, check out my next email in this series, Speak Louder #2:Making A One-Time Splash!
Dan Wegner, CEO/President; Traffic Resources International, LLC
Shuttervoice writes their views on website design trends for 2011, here's the recap:
TOP WEBSITE DESIGN TRENDS FOR 2011:
• Introductory pages of sites made completely with flash are OUT
• Big texts with matching sets of color are IN for any website with proper navigation in the home page
• Typical notebook type or column like designs are OUT and retro or magazine like design is IN
• As the display are more being widescreen with LCD, TFT & LED monitors, single page designs are IN where anyone can scroll their way to find anything interesting
• Less spacy is IN; using your space wisely (banner ads, reference links) is IN
• Browsers play a vital role in web which is racing to be faster and give more features to the customers within accustomed space, lighter designs are IN so that it takes only a fraction of second to load in any standard server, sloppy designs with huge animation or details are going to be totally OUT
• Gimmick or huge animation is OUT and professional light designs with navigations are IN for 2011.
Click on the pictures in this design quiz at Stylish Home to determine your decorating style. Brace yourself— the quiz promises to "delve into your design soul."
My results said my style preference is:
• An intimate home of modest proportions, a kitchen that reflects your passion…large, sweeping - authentic
• A tailored bedroom rewards a hard day's work.
• Like the painter's brush, your composition is done in living color.
• In the eating area, a sense of rolling hills and vineyards surround this table; a lithe and agreeable cab - no meal required.
• Outside, on cobbled streets, character abounds. Fun, yet cosmopolitan - your style abides.
• I score along the lines of Oprah Winfrey, John Kennedy and Michelle Obama.
Wouldn't have guessed that but the quiz was fun. Check it out for yourself and see what you prefer!
For most of us, the term web analytics is synonymous with the free Google Analytics tool that many small businesses use to track site traffic. If you’re using analytics of any type to gloat (or mourn) over your page views and unique visitors, you could be missing a powerful opportunity to use web analytics to improve your marketing.
Here are seven ways you can start using web analytics today. Try them to improve your marketing and grow your business:
1. Measure the cost effectiveness of offline advertising
Your business might spend hundreds of dollars on a flier but you are not sure if people will check out the website for more information. Why not include a URL to a tagged landing page that provides more specific information and a link to the main page. Another way is a specific URL with special tags that enables you to more easily track the traffic to the URL.
Either way, you now have a means to see how effective an offline method is and can compare against other marketing efforts.
2. Funnel analysis to know if some visitor segments are leaving
Yahoo! Web Analytics and Google Analytics have different names for this feature, but the purpose is the same in each. A traffic funnel shows where visitors are exiting from a site -- think of it as a map to find the source of a pipe leak. This visual helps website owners understand what offerings should be tweaked to retain visitors and lead to more conversions. It can also show where a pop up page (Did you not find what you were looking for) or a survey would be potentially placed.
3. Use event tracking to count white paper downloads or video plays
4. Study real- time analytics to know when visitors are arriving
Real time analytics tools such as Piwik and Woopra can indicate which time of the day traffic arrives to the site. This information can be a more granular way of seeing if the timing of an event triggered more views on a site and potentially more downloads or purchases.
5. Use customer segmentation to know which kinds of customers are responding
The benefit of segmentation is to help identify visitor segments that best match the site goals and develop some answers as to how the segment relates to the business objectives of the site. Measuring only “hits” instead of kinds of visits is not real analysis.
6. Check site functionality to know if your site is performing well
Examining funnel diagrams, bounce rates can indicate a functional problem with the site -- the inability to call up a page, for example. Many analytics tools also consider the OS and browser of visitors -- this helps show if there are problems affecting one browser that could prevent visitors from arriving onto the site. The OS measures can also be effective way to determine if sire traffic is arriving via an iPad or mobile device, an indication of a mobile audience and if developing offering for this audience has potential.
7. Use a Map Overlay to know where your efforts are working
In Google Analytics the map overlay feature can show which regions you traffic is coming from. This may help you understand if a targeted region is yielding interest, or if there are intended regions are not being reached. Other analytics tools offer variations of the map overlay.
There are more potential uses, and even more tools to make the work relatively easy:
There are now applications like Hootsuite, Twitterlyzer and Mailchimp that allow some overlap of analytics data from different properties and make analysis more integrated. The point is to make any business’ online properties a working asset by understanding how visitors are receiving what is being offered and to undertake action that can improve customer experience.
I thought you might enjoy reading a guest blog from Kat Soland of Traffic Resources International on links:
Reciprocal linking is a completely natural activity between businesses and is not a problem despite many people suggesting otherwise – just don’t set up a link directory with the intention of exchanging links with random sites. It is okay, as long as it makes sense (relevant businesses), it's a great way to "refer" business to each other. But you need to know, there is no SEO value to these links. (It does not help your ranking)
Linking to businesses you aren't familiar with. There are many companies out there soliciting business owners to "trade" links, you have to be careful-Do you want to be associated with them? It's not just about there website, what about their reputation? Is there any negative press?
Watch out for "Link Directories" -if they are not a well-known directory & they are suggesting "reciprocal linking"-it can even hurt you...(see below)
Also watch out for services that are "3-way link aggregators". (We're seeing them soliciting business owners heavily right now)
Here's the 10th commandment on link-building:
10. Thou shalt not participate in large-scale or deceptive link exchange programs.
• 3-way link exchanges on the other hand are rarely a natural activity and would most often be conducted by people trying to fool the search engines – don’t waste your time.
• Link networks and link farms are built with the sole purpose of getting thousands of links for the member sites and more often than not leave a footprint with which Google can detect the member sites
Be warned, trying to "outsmart" Google is a bad long-term strategy. They're basically trying to "game" the system.
Best advise: Remember, it's not quantity of links, it's quality...
Quality links to/from sites that Google considers "authority sites" ( such as social media sites & industry associations/bloggers) related to your industry category (non competitive, of course) is the "magic bullet" to improve your ranking.
Written by: Kat Soland; Traffic Resources International, LLC
The Logo of Pepsi is one of the most famous logo in the world. It is considered one of the world’s most recognizable corporate trademarks. I think the new symbol style is not that relevant to it's product, and actually if it wasn't connected to the word pepsi I may not get what it's for, But it is very simple and clean. I'm a fan of the type treatment.
The first developed and produced in the early 1890’s by Caleb Bradham, a pharmacist in New Bern, North Carolina labeled as “Brad’s drink”. In 1898, Bradham renamed his drink into “Pepsi-Cola”.
From 1898 to 2009 Pepsi had been evolved its logo and design more than 10 times.
You can see the biggest changes in the logo from 1898 to 2009
Logo and Brand identity designers have enough on their plates without worrying about copyright infringement and trademark lawsuits, but that is just what they will have if they aren’t acquainted with some of the questions and misconceptions concerning copyright and trademark. It isn’t rocket science by any means but it is involved and the boundaries do cross here and there and care needs to be taken to tread the straight and narrow concerning the boundaries. After reading a definition of copyright and trademark, how does the logo and brand identity designers recognize the pitfalls and avoid them? When the designer has done all he can do, at what point does legal counsel enter the picture?
Copyright is no more than protecting your creation. It can be created on paper, canvas, DVD, CD, computer graphics or any surface whatsoever. That it was created at all is the point and to protect it the designer needs to copyright it. Copyright only protects the surface on which the creation was accomplished, but does not protect the performance thereof. Meaning the copyright protects the creation of what was recorded on the CD, not the people covering the music or performing art. Copyrighting is done through the Library of Congress Copyright Office for a small fee and the creator holds the copyright for the term of his natural life or seventy years, whichever comes first. For the logo and brand identity designers, this protects the surface the brand and logo was created on, not the business that follows such creation.
Trademark, on the other hand, is an expression. It doesn’t have to be on a surface for it can be sound, movement such as a dance step, a jingle or some expression of the logo and brand identity designer’s creation with which to induce the consumer to recognize instantly the company’s product or service. An example of this would be Howard Johnson Hotels. The orange roof is recognized the world over. Another instance would be Pizza Hut, another roof that is recognized all around the world. These are trademarks that express a product or a service, distinguishable from like products or services although similar in nature. Trademark registration is accomplished through the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The difference between the two lies in not creation, but expression, and here the logo and brand identity designer could use some help navigating the waters. The designer has created a brand and logo and has it copyrighted but does he need to trademark it? Automobile tires would be a good example here for they are not only a product but a service, as in the case of a consumer having the tires installed at the Goodyear store. Goodyear is a brand and a logo that provides a product and a service. HVAC would be another instance in which Trane provides a heating and cooling product and a trained tech provides the service of installation. Trademarks express a product or service while separating its creator from other products and services even if they are similar.
Relevant to that, the designer will wish to create a unique trademark that will not only stand on its own, making his brand instantly recognizable, but noticeably different from others of like design. This is going to include a search of trademarks which necessitates legal advice. If a creation is too close to other trademarks of its type, the creator of the trademark can sue for conflict of interest. The designer has two choices in design: a verbal or sound trademark or a word or symbol trademark. A combination of these are preferable because exclusivity can be proven whereas a single word or symbol could be too close for comfort to another word or symbol. If a combination is used in design, at a later date when consumer recognition and loyalty are achieved, the two can be separated because they will stand alone, as in the case of Ralph Lauren’s Polo brand and logo. When the designer institutes a search of existing trademarks, he can be sure that his design will not infringe upon another designer’s trademark.
Conversely if the logo and brand designate a product universally recognized and used it is possible that common law trademarking will apply. For instance, MLM involves products and services not always trademarked as in the case of insurance and legal services. In such cases, infringement would be hard to prove and the logo and brand identity designer can claim that his product or service is in the public domain and not liable to question.
A brand and logo designer is hired by his client to create an identity for the client’s product or service. The designer needs protection by copyright and trademarking so that his client doesn’t come back later and litigate because another company sued for infringement of either. The brand and logo designer uses these not only as protection but as a badge of legitimacy. In a world of brazen knock-offs and “fell off the back of the truck” unidentifiable productions, the designer claims legitimacy. Food store branding of every day things like drinking water or canned and frozen vegetables are in the public domain and don’t necessarily need trademarking, for example, and so the brand and logo designer cannot be held accountable for similarity issues. Additionally, a brand and logo designer will have these considerations in his portfolio for the education and possible employment of future clients.
Typeface and Font
One of the pitfalls the brand and logo designer will encounter is typeface and font. Typeface is a set of letters, numbers and symbols which have existed for hundreds of years and therefore not copyrightable. For example, both the generic shape of the letter ‘L’ and all of the elaborately more specific ‘L’s’ from the hundreds of years of font designs that have fallen into the public domain. So, typeface designs are not covered by copyright. On the other hand, Font is in sizing and shape which uses the typeface but is copyrightable. The creation resulting from these, however, is copyrightable and trademarkable. While simple script is not subject to copyright a combination of script and symbol or art is. A sketch of a tree, for instance, would not be subject to trademark and copyright for it is in the public domain, but add an elf to the sketch and it becomes copyrightable and trademarkable. If the designer uses lettering and symbols imaginatively to convey an idea of the product or service, two circles could be anything but add the word MasterCard to the design and he has a credit card logo. Instantly recognizable, the two symbols or the two words, each in different fonts, can stand alone which is trademarkable.
Correction of Misconceptions
The logo and brand identity designer will run across some misconceptions about copyright. If another designer takes an existing design and alters it, the resulting design is not his. Copyright includes derivative rights to the author of the original work which means that his design can be altered for another purpose but is still protected under the original copyright. No one else can do that but the designer of the original copyrighted work. Another misconception concerning copyright is because the designer’s logo does not have the copyright symbol attached it is not copyrighted. Nope, Creation constitutes copyright. Registering the creation protects the author. Copyright infringement is easier to prove due to the fact that the original design was copyrighted first.
The logo and brand identity designer will have to deal with misconceptions concerning trademark. If the design is uncomfortably close to another design it will create consumer confusion and this makes the mark unregisterable. If the designer merely changes a word in the logo for trademark, the same principle applies. The image and script in the logo must be clearly and absolutely original and must not come close to another of like product or service in order to be trademarked. A designer may not incorporate into his logo a generic term such as soap because the designer’s logo has to distinguish his client’s soap from others. Nor can the designer incorporate a proper name into the design such as Joe’s Soap unless the proper name describes the soap such as Joe’s Dish Soap. The designer may not use descriptive phrase in the logo because any phrase of that type is in the public domain and not subject to copyright and trademark. It is permissible to use a focus such as dried on food or caked on grease with regard to Joe’s Dish Soap.
The logo and brand identity designer will design a logo for a client that could be an international success. This necessitates learning international copyright and trademark laws. While there is no one body governing international trademark laws, there is one that guides applicants through international waters. Since copyright and trademark seekers file in their own countries, the Madrid System facilitates trademark registration in member jurisdictions through an international registration by World Intellectual Property Organization. Meaning that a designer will obtain trademark of his design in his home country and then this organization will take the registration to its members world wide. International copyright protection, however, is administered by two conventions, the Berne Convention and the Universal Copyright Convention. There are member countries in these conventions and protection for copyrighted materials filed in the United States is granted in the member countries. The UCC requires the presence of the copyright symbol in addition to the name of the author and the year of publication. Through these international regulatory bodies, a registered copyright or trademark is respected and protected by member countries with similar copyright and trademark laws and infringement on either can be prosecuted.
The logo and brand identity designer has now designed a logo that clearly represents the client’s product or service and he has researched the efficacy of his design. The designer is now prepared to register his design for copyright and trademark. To apply for copyright the designer will have three options: online application and two paper application options. The online application includes downloading tutorials and PDF files. This method is faster and cheaper, securely payable by credit card. Using this method the designer can track the status of his application, his application gets processed faster and he can upload files directly into the system. With paper applications one includes registration with printed bar codes. This requires Adobe Acrobat Reader version 8 or higher. In this option, too, files will be downloaded including FAQ and instructions. The other paper application has to be requested and mailed to the designer. All methods require a credit card, check or money order with the application. To register a trademark is much the same. The designer will have a form mailed to him or he can go online to apply. Both require payment in the form of credit card, check or money order and one method is faster than the other.
In the end, the logo and brand identity designer who researches extensively, properly designs his logo and properly files for copyright and trademark is protected against infringement. Legal advice will only be necessary in the case of infringement.
So first our local Twin Cities based Caribou rebrands, now Starbucks...to my coffee loving friends enjoy the ride down branding history of a classic brew.
Starbucks, forty years a company in 2011, is one of the most famous brands of coffee in the world, so changing the appearance of their logo is a bold move. The Starbucks designers love the brand and thought of many possibilities before choosing simplicity. They wanted to celebrate the essential, The Siren. They removed the ring around her, smoothed out her flowing hair, and enhanced her facial features. They let her stand proudly in green. The new logo helps Starbucks keep its wonderful coffee, and leaves it free to expand its product line with a logo that is true.
Who is The Siren? In 1971 when Starbucks was just beginning, designers wanted to tie in seagoing history of coffee circling the globe and the seaport city of Seattle. Studying nautical histories, they came across the 16th century woodcut of the Siren, the two-tailed mermaid of Norse legend. She was the perfect subject for the Starbucks logo.
Still, The Siren is at the heart of the essence of Starbucks. She presents the message best, telling of the richness of Starbucks coffee and its standard that will continue to mark the brand. She also tells how the future is bright with promise and more goodness from the company. She encourages Starbucks to continue, to reach into the future while not ever forgetting the past. Now, liberated from her ring in the new logo for 2011, the fortieth anniversary of Starbucks, The Siren of the sea stands irresistible.
As designers, we admire great design. Check out what Logo Talks ranks as top 29 best logo design practices of 2010 and maybe you'll find some inspiration for your own work.
Typedia Logo Design
This is the deep story of the creation of the Typedia logotype by the designer John Langdon.
Designer: John Langdon
Mentaway Logo Design Case Study
The Brazilian designer Fabio Sasso display the process of making logo for company called Mentaway. Fabio is going to give you some insights on how he see the service, the goals and philosophy behind the company.
Designer: Fabio Sasso
Case Study of Logos Guide Studio
Logo design process talk about 10 points you should know as a logo designer and considering when you designing a logotype.
Designer: Otba Mushaweh
New Brand Identity for Ennead Architects by pentagram.
Designers: Michael Bierut and Lisa Strausfeld
A Guide to Creating Professional Quality Logo Designs
Chris Spooner discuss some of the general rules of logo design and guidelines you should stick to in order to build high quality logos through a logo design process.
Designer: Chris Spooner
Logo Design Process For Ear Center Audiology
New logo design for a new hearing aid dealer named ‘Ear Center Audiology.’
Designer: Sean Farrell
Foehn & Hirsch Identity Development
This article is summarise the logo design process for visual identity for Foehn & Hirsch by the designer Graham Smith.
Designer: Graham Smith
Ganze brand identity design
In this article, David Airey explain how to create a logotype that would appeal to the target market of 18-25 year old women through case study.
Designer: David Airey
New logo design for BevReview.
Sean Farrell explain the direction of new Two Giraffes logo. The logo includes the number 2 and two giraffe heads incorporated into the negative space.
Designer: Sean Farrell
plancast penguin development process
Logo design process for local San Francisco start-up named Plancast by the designer Alex Cornell.
Designer: Alex Cornell
Logo design for Visit France
Logo design process for Visit France, a site that is specialized in finding accommodation in France.
Designer: Veerle Pieters
Associated Painters Logo Design Process
Logo design process explain how the business of painting commercial aircraft Associated Painters works.
Designer: Jeremy Bolton
Insyndia Logo Design Process
Logo design process for IT Company named Insyndia
Designer: Jeremy Bolton
Orb Web Solutions Identity Development
This article is a run through for the Orb Web Solutions logo design by the designer Graham Smith.
Designer: Graham Smith
Weedon Island AWIARE logo
New logo design for the Alliance for Weedon Island Archaeological Research and Education.
Designer: Mario Ocon
Creative Process Study for Million Monarchs.
Designer: Design Kompany
Complete Logo Design Process For an Eco Green Logo
Case study and complete logo design process for Envision Customworks.
Designer: Sneh Roy
Happycry Branding Process
How to make branding for your own company? Paul share his ideas through a case study.
Designer: Paul Swindell
Branding Ian Matteson
Brand and identity development for Ian Matteson.
Designer: Shelby White
Re-branding Undersea Productions
New brand identity for Undersea Productions imaging company based out of Australia.
Designer: Josiah Jost
WavePulse Acoustics Identity Development
This article is summarise the logo design process for visual identity for WavePulse Acoustics by the designer Graham Smith.
Designer: Graham Smith
The redesign process of the IBBT logo
Case Study explain the new identity of IBBT (Interdisciplinary Institute for Broadband Technology) is an independent research institute.
Designer: Benedikte Vanderweeën
Tunelinks brand identity design
In this article, David Airey explain how to create a brandmark to identify the venture through case study.
Designer: David Airey
Logo design for fabulis
New logo design for new social network web site called fabulis.
Designer: Veerle Pieters
The logo design process for Dounia
Case study for Dounia, a Mediterranean canned food company.
Designer: William Perez
Aspect 46 brand identity design
Logo design process for new logo and business stationery by the designer David Airey.
Designer: David Airey
Logo Design Process for BlueDrift
Case Study explain the new logo of Blue Drift Pottery company that makes “pottery out of recycled materials”.
Designer: Andrew Kelsall
New brand identity for Media Access.
Designer: Future in Bold
Had a client who had just opened a new hypnosis practice ask me if I felt her money was well-spent on a local small town newpaper weekly. She was looking at $176 a week. She said, that's a lot of money to me right now on top of other fixed costs as I open my practice. It is a lot of money, without a guaranteed rate on her return.
I told her to hold off for now and rather get out and meet her potential referral partners thru networking coffees, lunches and meetings; and work on her google rankings and keywords, since she was having good luck with her new website in social media. But the other area she should consider is writing articles and therefore positioning herself as an expert or with a specific niche.
So, write and submit articles. Why?
– It's free promotion on steroids.
– It's extremely viral.
– It brands you fast.
– Most marketers won't do it.
In an ezine, the feature is the main article. Get the featured article in an ezine and the spotlight for that issue is all yours. The more you are published, the more your readers will say your name is everywhere. Sumbit to many publications, and by only changing a few words you can increase your rankings.
You are branding yourself fast and it hasn't cost you a dime.
Once you start getting yourself recognized, articles will start taking on a life of their own. Have a few webmasters pick them up and your name recognition (brand) keeps spreading.
It's amazing what article writing can do. After you've been writing awhile, your readers will feel like they know you.
That's pretty much not going to happen from running an ad. An ad is just one of many and doesn't tell us who you are.
So if you are serious about branding and marketing yourself, start thinking out of the box. Learn what everyone is doing and then do what they are not. You are a unique individual and you don't need to follow the herd.
Get in the habit of writing and submitting articles!
After developing Joomla sites for the past 5 years, I've found that customers want the behind the scenes area of their website to be easy to maintain and manuever around. This goes for SEO. Live Edit has made SEO savvy individuals very happy with simple features for adding descriptions and keywords.
As a website owner, a few things you should do if you only do this:
I'm working with CNC Metalcraft, Inc right now on their SEO as we rollout their new website. They've received their research and are getting ready to implement their content into their new site, to launch Dec. 28. Of course, this will be ongoing work for them, but here are some tips we shared today:
1) Image tags, image descriptions and page descriptions.
Make these unique, interesting and exciting (and relevant to what you do and your keywords)
"See more information on how we helped companies like BMW and Marriot do...... (use the keywords)
"Company XYZ has a wide array of _____
"Ensure quality with_____
"If you are looking for_____
2) Body Copy. Be redundant. Use cross links.
The journalism major in me flinches at this, but yes, you need to add more redundancy to the copy.
So, if for instance you have a page title like "composite wall panels", use that full phrase more often in the copy, not just abbreviations of it.
Use cross-links....if this product is also good for architectual structures and canopies...mention it and then we link it to that page. Get stuff like that happening all over your site internally.
3) Content updates.
Plan to blog or add news stories, project galleries, once a day, once a week, or whenever you can. Maybe plan a little story about each of the images you have in your portfolio and tell the story about what you did for this client. Use those as opportunities to drop business names and mention products used and services. You could do several stories on each aspect of your facility or operation.
Hope this is helpful. As a creative, for many years SEO was kept as a mystery, but I think it's important for us all to understand how to imprtove your site and really who knows your business best...YOU! So hire a writer if you like, but start from the heart.
Here is a nice resource list of stunning web safe fonts that you can use with CSS stylesheets. “Web Safe” fonts mean that they will be extremely common on most versions of Windows, Mac, Linux etc, so they will be viewable by more a less everyone. Along with each font is the raw CSS code that you can copy and paste directly into your own stylesheet to use the font. If you have any others please drop in a comment.
font-family: Impact, Charcoal, sans-serif;
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font-family: ‘Palatino Linotype’, ‘Book Antiqua’, Palatino, serif;
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I have to admit I only really started Facebook because of intrigue and to help keep Grandma updated on photos of my daughter. But low and behold I've had many business transactions come about because of exposure on Facebook. Definitely not worth ignoring this free app!
Facebook is the most popular social network in the world, and it is a great tool for keeping both in touch with friends and family and marketing a business. How do you use facebook? What are your Facebook tips and tricks...
Daniel Nations posts comments he's received on this question. Let's hear yours!
Letter from Jeff Gacek:
First, let me thank you for your heart for Haiti and for the children of Grace Village. We are so grateful for your help and support. The reason for this email is to give you an update on Grace Village and to let you know of some immediate needs.
Breaking Ground Aug 2009
We were pleased with the progress of Grace Village throughout 2009 but as you know, things move much slower in Haiti then they do in the USA. Many organizations will start a project like ours by bringing in work crews from outside the community. While this can sometimes be more efficient, we believe it is not always the right thing to do. In a country where the unemployment rate is greater than 70%, and Titanyen, the community where we are building Grace Village being one of the poorer communities, we felt it was important to hire as many qualified people from within the community as possible. We made the commitment, as we did when we built Reiser Heights, to bring 20% or fewer workers from outside the community to guide and manage the project and hire 80% or greater of the skilled and unskilled workers from Titanyen. When it came to unskilled labor, we chose to bring them on in shifts, hiring crews for a few weeks at a time and then hiring different crews for the next few weeks, thus sharing the work with a greater amount of people. By supporting local workers, we are providing the foundation for good community relations while earning the respect from the surrounding community.
The footings and foundation for our the two dormitories and feeding center took substantially longer than planned because of the amount of rock that we ran into. Instead of taking three weeks to dig by hand, it actually took 8 weeks. We have a video of the groundbreaking and foundation construction on Youtube at: Grace Village Ground Breaking.
By December, all the foundations had been built and the walls were starting to go up on the two dormitories.
We had 70% of the walls completed when the earthquake hit January 12, 2010. It was devastating. We spent 3 long days and nights trying to communicate with our orphanages and schools to no avail. By January 16th, we were back in Haiti, relieved to find our children OK, but a gasp at the damage we found. We spent the next 3 weeks helping other missions recover injured people and ferry them to make shift hospitals and clinics.
When the dust settled, we inspected our buildings at Grace Village.
We were blessed that only one of our workers was injured.
Immediately after the earthquake, numerous obstacles became evident that would prevent or slow our efforts to cleanup the damage and start to rebuild. Fuel was in short supply and was actually unavailable for the first two weeks after the earthquake. Roads were often broken or impassible. Most of the stores and businesses were closed because of lack of electricity and telephone communication was almost non-existent. Restarting construction came to a grinding halt.
By March, things started again to move. Fuel was available, roads had been at least partially cleared and temporary cell towers had been put in place. The downside was construction materials were in short supply or out of stock. International contractors had been brought in to clear sites and to start building temporary schools and government buildings. Much of the available construction materials were being used just to shore up damaged buildings. The materials we needed, concrete and steel were hard to find. To add to the problem, the port was damaged preventing new materials from being imported.
By late April we were able to get concrete and by June were able to get some of the steel needed to build the trusses for the roof.
Where we are Currently
We have worked through the summer and early fall to try to make up for lost time while not compromising quality and to bring the project closer to completion. Here are photos of where the project is as of October 10, 2010. The concrete walls are complete, the trusses are built and up on all three buildings and the roof sheathing is installed on the two dormitories. The sheathing for the feeding center will be completed within the next week. All plumbing including cistern and septic tanks are roughed in and capped.
We are excited to see the progress so far and look forward to the next few moths when 64 orphaned and abandoned children make Grace Village their new home. We are also excited for the street children and elderly and the impact that the new Feeding Center will have on their lives. Bringing food to those that often go hungry will provide us with the opportunity to share God's loving touch to those in need.
As we look to building completion, we are now pressed to provide site cleanup, playground areas and a security wall around the property. We have been blessed with support of many who helped the children and responded to our capital building fund. Many wanted to provide the funds to build the building that will become home to these children. The dormitories or the feeding center are fully funded.
The challenge now however is security and site development. All of these are desperately needed and are unfunded at the present time.
With the completion of the building being only a few months away, we are seeking urgently needed donations to help make Grace Village a reality for these children. Having a clean, safe and secure site is critically important to providing a quality environment for these children.
The costs needed for completion are as follows:
Grace Village Site Plan
The green line represents the security wall around Grace Village.
We thank you in advance.
Ke Bondye Beni'ou
Alyn Shannon and Jeffrey Gacek
What is the purpose of your brochure? Is your brochure an advertisement? Is it a detailed product description-marketing piece? Or to put it another way, what kind of customers will be getting your brochure?
The first type of brochure design is created to attract a new customer's attention. Just like an advertisement, it screams for attention, and plays on the emotions of the customer. It has a big headline, strong visuals, and a distinct call to action.
This brochure design works to build interest, and to create desire for your products or services. It instructs customers to follow through by returning a coupon, or calling, or coming in.
The second type of brochure design is created to follow through with customers who want more detailed information. These customers have contacted you with questions. Often they want to know everything about a product or service. The second brochure design is created to give them what they want.
Certainly a brochure can both get attention and give detailed information, but you may not want to do this.
What are you trying to accomplish? Do you want new customers to come into your store? Then create interest and excitement with an advertisement type brochure designed to bring them in.
Or are your customers looking for information? Then you want to create a brochure packed with information specifically for them.
It is better to create two different brochures to accomplish these two different goals. Detailed product information will not entice a new customer to call. A lightweight sales brochure will not satisfy a demand for more information. Define your objective clearly, and use your brochure design to accomplish your goal.
This rule should be followed each time you want to target a different type of audience. If they are important, then you want to tailor your message, and your brochure design, especially for them.
Think about this: If you are sending the wrong brochure, you are just wasting your money, and you are not impressing your customers.