For a new understanding of marketing and advertising, check out the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Radio’s Under the Influence with Terry O’Reilly. The program explores the shift of advertising and marketing from hard sell to persuasion to dialogue. Always engaging and lively, each show contains information you can apply to your business or organization. Continue reading article
On the fence about branding? Uncertain of the benefits? You’re wrong. Very wrong. Here’s why.
People do business with people they trust. If you’re selling a professional service or selling clothing, whether you know it or not (and you do), you’re limited by the professionalism of your brand. An outdated logo created in Word in the 90’s does not look current or relevant. An ancient website communicates the same thing.
When a brand doesn’t convey professionalism, it hits an invisible ceiling. Think about it…. Would you purchase clothing from a website with bad photography? Would you hire a consultant who looks outdated and irrelevant? I sure wouldn’t. I buy clothing that looks good. I hire smart professionals that can solve my problems.
Your profit (or reach, if you’re a nonprofit) is limited by people’s lack of trust, which is especially frustrating if you’re offering a great service or product.
We’re engaged by clients because they want to land bigger deals, more lucrative clients, and partner with outstanding organizations and companies.
Want more specifics on what a brand could do for you? Call me @ 510-846-5530 or post in the comments section.
P.S. Considering redoing or building a website? Crappy logos and bad photography tank good looking websites.
Here’s the deal: I like my routine. I mostly work from home, but when I need a break for a few hours, Starbucks is my other office. I know my store’s entire staff and we’re friendly. I think of them like extended family.
I’m also a gold club member, which means I drink a lot of coffee and get free syrup and soy.
Sadly, Starbucks is doing away with the free soy and syrup perk of gold member status. They recently sent out an email to customers letting us know. (See above for a snippet.)
As you can imagine, my fellow Starbucks fans and I were annoyed with the way this change.
I think they made a tiny mistake that I’ll take as a good lesson learned for myself and clients.
They included their social media links on the announcement that they could easily anticipate would be poorly received. Whoops. Now normally, I would get that kind of email, be annoyed, delete it and move on. However, the FB link was right there and I was instantly able to post on Starbucks wall about my disappointment. Apparently, many millions are too.
I wonder, however, if as many people would have done that if those links weren’t included in the email.
If you’re sending policy changes or other possible sensitive things that may cause a stir, remove the social links from that piece of correspondence. I get it. Sometimes rates and policies change. If you’re raising prices or doing away with peoples’ favorite products, etc, it’s probably best to leave your social media links out of that email.
What do you know about your website traffic? Some of my clients have a vague sense of how many visits a month they have, but know little beyond that.
Google Analytics is a free service from Google that provides detailed statistics about visitors to a website.
The code provides a ton of data that can really help make wise business choices.
Over the next several months, I’ll provide tutorials on the different sections of Google Analytics. There’s a lot to learn and I want the information to be helpful, and allow you to make strategic business decisions.
One of my favorite things to do when thinking about building a new client’s website is to look into their GA Reports and check out Visitors Flow.
Once in the Visitors Flow section, you’ll see how people are moving through your website. Start playing around with the Visitors Flow section. You can segment it to new or returning visitors, direct, referral, and search traffic.
If you have no idea what any of the above means, hold tight. In the coming months I’m going to break this stuff down into a way that most people can understand. And, once you understand it, I think you’ll be able to make much smarter business decisions. Have no interest in learning it? Call me and I’ll audit your reports and provide a brief with information and recommendations.
We’re not quite finished yet, but we’ve been working with The Raven Foundation to update their website and branding.
Part of our work with the private foundation is to help them simplify their important information (without dumbing things down). They’re doing great work and educating people on ending violence and creating lasting peace.
Above is a sneak peek of their new logo. The new website should launch in the next month! We can’t wait to share it!
We just helped San Francisco-based photographer Chris Forbes launch his new website. It’s created in WordPress, looks great, and will be easy for him to maintain and update.
Part of the project was inspired by the fact that his old website used Joomla and Flash based galleries that didn’t load on i-devices. Joomla was also clunky and not always efficient at setting up and maintaining the different galleries.
Chris’s photography is fantastic! Check him out!
I recommend Getting Naked by Patrick Lencioni to all of my small business clients looking for advice when they’re starting up a new business.
Ultimately, the book lays out a framework of “naked” service that’s all about being vulnerable with clients – “embracing uncommon levels of humility, selflessness and transparency for the good of a client.”
“We find that clients are more interested in candor, modesty, and transparency than they are in confidence, authority, and perfection. That’s not to say that competence is irrelevant; clients need to know that we have the knowledge and experience to help them. But once we’ve reached that level, the best way to differentiate ourselves from competition – not to mention help a client implement the ideas we’re recommending to them – is to be vulnerable with them.” — Getting Naked Summary Article
My biggest takeaway from this book as a self-employed person is that I don’t have to know everything and be everything to every client. I’m an expert at custom WordPress solutions for small business customers and I think strategically about how I build and design. But more than that, my clients choose and refer me because of my authenticity and honesty.
Lencioni argues that naked service builds remarkable client loyalty, and I completely agree. What are some of your favorite customer service related books?
We helped this green team rapidly develop a logo and business cards for their new endeavor. We can’t wait to help them create more.
They chose from three primary logo concepts and fourteen business card options. The winning concepts are pictured above!
Mission: Build a restaurant website that renders well across platforms: desktops, tablets, and phones.
Simple! Chantilly’s website looks great on all of them. This WordPress-based site has several slick plugins that make updating the site, menus, and galleries a breeze. They also have a sophisticated ordering form for their larger private dining events.
We got very hungry every time we worked on this project. The food looks delicious!
P.S. Have a restaurant website? If so, here’s a hot tip: Your phone # needs to be on every page of your website. Preferably the top – in plain text and in an unaltered form. Not 555.555.555 (which looks pretty), but 555-555-5555. You want your customers who may want to place orders to go to be able to click your number directly from their smartphones when they’re on your website. At a minimum, please, please, please place your phone number on your menu page. Your customers will thank you.
We’ve been helping Community Violence Solutions rebrand for several months now. They are a Rape Crisis Center serving Contra Costa and Marin Counties and do amazing work.
Part of our process with them was to create a brand guide that articulates the ways to use the new brand elements — logo, letterhead, etc.
We created a 12-page Brand Identity Guide and eight standardized Word document templates that mimic their stationery, including a sample memo and letter, to a full proposal and power point template. It’s all consistent, looks good, and is easy for staff to use.
Does your office or organization have guidelines on how to use your logo or represent your brand?