Last week she put a post on facebook about a new client who had come to her for a quote for a website - that's fairly normal in our profession - but when she delved deeper (well, not that deep really) it became apparent that this client didn't have a business yet, nor a business name, she didn't have products or clients and wasn't sure what a blog was. She just had an idea. Needless to say this makes a designer's job very difficult. So my sister stated that before a client comes to her for a quote, they need to have the three B's (at least). I agree. Here they are:
A Business - one can't sell or serve without an actual business. This means having a business name, trade marking that name or logo, registering the name, and buying a domain. I didn't say it was quick and easy, but having these things in place before you go getting websites and business cards is important. This is the foundation stuff. There's a lot more to it on an emotional level too, but I'll save that for another day.
A Brief - we designers like to know as much as possible about your business. Not only do we make things look pretty, we also need to know things like who your target market is; including their gender, age and profession, what your product or service is, how you plan to reach your market, what makes you different to everyone else doing a similar thing. A design brief should contain all of that information as well as things like the colours you want to use and why, the style of your business (corporate, spiritual, alternative, healthy etc) and the moods you want to convey through your branding. I know!! We're nosy people us designers, but in the end you'll get a design that's created specifically for your business, not some random generic logo you got online for five bucks that Bob over the road could use.
A Budget - You need to know how much money you can commit to your design project because us designers can generally tailor a package to suit or offer payment plans. Lots of people shy away from talking about money but it's important to get that sorted from the start. Then there are no nasty surprises and everyone's happy. I generally give a fixed price quote because that's what I prefer myself. Hourly rates are too varied and it can blow out really fast, so a fixed price is much better for you - often not so good for me, as design work is incredibly time consuming and can go on and on - but them's the breaks.
So, if you're thinking about a website or a logo, answer the above questions first and you'll be off with a flying start. I'm more than happy to have a chat if you want to know more and would love your comments below.
The other day I met with two lovely ladies who are starting a new business, I'm helping them with their facebook branding. These ladies have spent a lot of money and time on researching and creating this business. They've paid a graphic designer to create their logo and branding, they've purchased a car for the job, been to a lawyer and an accountant and got all their insurances sorted. They've registered their business name and they're all ready to go.
But there's just one small problem... since doing all of that, they've discovered that their business name (you know, the one they just spent a bucket-full of money to register and brand?) is trademarked by someone else. Bugger! Now, they could ignore that and carry on as planned in the hope that it doesn't matter, but the problem is, it DOES matter. Why? Because the person who owns the trademark can legally sue these ladies for using that name and they'd stand to lose everything. Everything!
You know what I'd do? I'd re-name and re-brand the business ASAP and then I'd check that it was available to trademark. The Trademarking process takes a few months, but if I knew the name I wanted was available, I'd begin the process and then register and re-brand. It'll save whole lot of heart-ache and a truck-load of money in the long run. Here's where to start http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/
If you want to know more my friend Geoff Moller is a Trademarking specialist (and a really nice guy), so give him a call on 0411 351 110.
I was wondering today, where would we be without Facebook? I don't know about you, but I think I've become quite dependent on it. One of the main reasons I use facebook is to find out about events in my local area. Gone are the days when you waited for an invitation in the mail or had to buy the paper to see what was on. I also keep in touch with friends, family and clients via facebook and it's an excellent referral tool for my business.
So, where would we be without facebook? If you're in business, are you entirely dependent on facebook for connecting with your clients, posting events and marketing your business? If so, and facebook disappeared overnight, what would you do? How would you contact your clients and potential market? Do you have a database of everyone's details so that you can contact them outside of facebook? If not, it might be time to get one together hey?
None of us own facebook, so we really have no control over it or the content we place within it. It could quite easily vanish and there's nothing we can do about it! Scary eh? The smart thing to do is make sure you have other avenues where you can build and develop your online business presence, for example; a website, a blog, and other social media accounts like Linkedin and Twitter.
So, what would you do if facebook disappeared? How would you feel? I'd love to know.
I didn’t realise the significance of this until I ‘un-friended’ someone who had never said anything. Ever! There was nothing on her profile page, no photo, no information, nothing! One day I was de-cluttering and I deleted her. This was a girl I went to school with way back in the 1970s (I know, long time ago eh!) and I hadn’t seen her since 1997, so I figured there wasn’t really any connecting going on, just stony silence.
Guess what happened! Less than 24 hours after I’d ‘un-friended’ my friend, she sent me an email (aha! So she could contact me if she wanted to!) asking if I’d deleted her! My response was; “yes because you don’t communicate”, and she said that she didn’t ‘get’ facebook and didn’t know how to post comments. Conclusion: she’s a stalker!!
Just goes to show doesn’t it, you never know who’s watching. Facebook is about connecting, being friendly and sharing. So don’t be a stalker – yes, I’m talking to you!
Go on, I dare you to leave a comment :o)
How to make your Welcome page the default landing page for new visitors
When new visitors go to your Facebook Business page for the first time, they automatically go to your 'Wall'. If you've spent time and money on designing a great Welcome Page graphic, then you'll most likely be wanting 'first time' visitors to go there so they can learn about your business and what you have to offer. Here's how...
- On your Facebook business page you’ll see a small link on the right below the tabs that says ‘Options’. Click this.
- On the next page click ‘settings’.
- On the second option that says “default landing Tab for everyone else’ select ‘Welcome’ from the drop-down menu.
Now, whenever anyone who hasn’t already ‘liked’ your page goes there, they’ll go to your welcome page first! Once someone has ‘liked’ your page, they’ll automatically go to your 'wall' each time they visit your page.
I know some of this sounds complicated and difficult and you can waste hours trying to figure stuff out, but lately I’ve discovered if you want to know how to do something, go to YouTube and search for it. And that’s not only for computer stuff. A couple of weeks ago I needed to change the filters in my water filter system, but I couldn’t find the instructions and couldn’t remember how I did it last year, so I ‘youtubed’ it, and there was a nifty little video of a guy crouched down under the kitchen sink, showing me, step by step, how to do it. So cool!
The complicated process of creating a Facebook Welcome page
Over the last few days I’ve been asked to explain how to create a Facebook Welcome page. From what I understand, there are two options:
Option 1 - Static Image: You can create an image using Photoshop or another graphic program to sit on your Welcome page. The measurements I use are 520px wide x 800px tall, this converts to 180mm wide x 290mm tall. The image should show your logo or branding, useful information about your business and an offer or call to action. This type of Welcome page sits on your Welcome tab as a graphic and is designed to encourage visitors to ‘like’ your business page and go to your website or call you.
The part that confused me was how to get this image into my Welcome page. I needed the html code, which meant I had to store my image online so that I could get the html code to insert it on to Facebook (yeah I know, this part did my head in too – but stay with me and persevere!) My good friend Annie Infinite of Saucy Social Media explained that you can set up a free album on Photobucket, upload your image and then you’ll get the code you need. So I did that. TIP: make sure you get the HTML code because there are four choices and they won’t all work.
Ultimately, this version of a Welcome page is a picture only and it’s the easiest way to go, especially if you don’t yet have a website to link to.
Option 2 - Opt-In and Links: Create a functioning Welcome page with Facebook Fan Pages. Here you pay to subscribe and then you can create a Welcome panel with opt-in boxes, links, text and images using the templates provided. If you want an opt-in box so that people will be added to your database, you’ll need to already have your website set up with forms, landing page and a facility to collect a database. Links can be added and lead to your website or email. Your images can also be links that lead to your website. This option takes a bit of setting up, but in the end you get a live Welcome page that’s active and interesting, and will lead people to your website.
Below are the sources I've mentioned or used to write this post. I'd really love your feedback on this one. Would it be helpful to create a step-by-step document that breaks it down and shows you how to do it all?
Fan Page Engine: http://fanpageengine.com/
How to set up your welcome page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RovS3ovaUl8
Social Media information: www.saucysocialmedia.com
6 January 2011
Have you heard the hype about social media of late? Seems it’s the new way to market your business, build relationships and create an online presence. Not to mention keeping in touch with long lost friends, finding relatives who might, one day, leave you their millions and spying on your children.
Last month I took myself off to a facebook workshop – who would’ve thought we’d be educating ourselves to communicate via typing as fast as possible over long distances and mostly to people we’ve never actually met in person! I know, I sound like my grandmother, but really, who would’ve thought?
Anyway, you can ‘poo poo’ facebook and twitter and all the other social media sites as much as you like, but in reality it really is the best way to advertise and connect. Seriously! I love it, I really do! I can’t wait to learn more and then I can help my own clients with their FB profiles.
Since I’ve ventured into facebook and twitter my business profile has been exposed to a lot of people and new clients have found me, some I’ve never met in person. It works, and the part I love most is being able to recommend other people’s businesses. Here’s an example: I designed a flyer for a lady who was referred to me by my brother after I’d done some pro bono work for his fundraising venture, anyway, I posted on FB that I’d designed the flyer for my new client and added a link to her website recommending her beautiful gift hampers. A FB friend of mine saw my comment, followed the link to the gift hampers website and bought a hamper! She was delighted with the service, price and quality and then commented a few days later on FB about how happy she was. That sort of exposure is priceless! And you know what? It’s all based on trust; my friend trusted my recommendation and bought the hamper because she knew me.
Paying it forward is the most important part. Another example: A friend of mine (who I’d never met in person at that point) started up a facebook page that promoted local businesses. She wrote a post about my business, from that I got a phone call resulting in a new client who I’ve since done a lot of work with. It didn’t cost me a cent!
That’s why it’s important to be trust worthy, reliable and authentic. So, if you’re not already tweeting on twitter and posting on facebook, get to it and do it! Be consistent, honest, friendly and professional. Show off a little so people can see what you do, it’s OK to brag - I did just the other day and have had two calls already from people who want facebook Welcome pages designed!
It’s worth it, really. Do it with pride and remember to pay it forward and if you’re going to spy on your kids, don’t write on their wall. Here's a little video with stats - well worth the 3 minutes it takes to watch. Have a happy day!
See you there! www.facebook.com/WitchWords
Here's a sample of the stuff that goes on in my head on a daily basis. Cracked myself up with this one, so thought I'd share the giggles. Enjoy!
Sue: Hello, nice to meet you, I’m Sue
Jenny: Yes, I know
Sue: Have we met before?
Jenny: Yes, we’re friends
Sue: Oh, I’m usually really good with faces but I don’t remember you
Jenny: We’ve been friends since last December. I know all about you, your son just graduated, you had dinner with some girls last week, your favourite colour is red... we’re good friends.
Sue: How do you know all that when I know nothing about you?
Jenny: Don’t you get my updates?
Sue: Not that I know of
Jenny: So did you like me?
Sue: I don’t even know you, how can I like you?
Jenny: Easy, you just choose to like me. I liked you.
Sue: When did you like me? And why don’t you still like me?
Jenny: I do, I still like you. Did you like me?
Sue: Um, I don’t know if I like you, how can I know that when I don’t know you?
Jenny: But we’re friends
Sue: No we’re not
Jenny: Yes we are
Sue: I don’t understand
Jenny: That’s OK, I still like you
If Jenny had put her face on her Facebook profile instead of that cute photo of her dog, Sue would’ve known who she was!
Jeanne's Tip: If you want to make friends and be liked, show your face! Hope that put a smile on your dial!
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