Branding Your Business

Branding BusinessHave you taken a look at the branding of your business lately?  Branding is an important area in your marketing that can easily be overlooked.  There are many areas to branding – today I’m talking about the visual:

  • E-mail Address: Is it something like sandi@sandrakaydesign.com?  You can usually get email addresses like this through your website host.
  • E-mail Signature: Do you have ALL of your contact and social media links in your signature?
  • Business Cards: Same as the e-mail signature – include your social media links.
  • Website and Social Media Profiles: Logos, colors, fonts, and photos should be the same across all of these avenues and should be echoed in your business cards and signature as well.

User experience and recognition of your brand across all of these areas is very important.  You want your users to recognize you. With all of the custom design options available on the social media sites, this is easy to accomplish with your web designer.  This is one of my favorite and most rewarding areas to work.

How’s your brand looking?  Let me know in the comments below.  I’d love to check it out. And… have a great week!

Sandi

Designers and Spec Work

I thought I’d share this great little video on designers and spec work. It makes some great points… Enjoy.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject in the comments below.

-Sandi

Search Engine Optimization and Keywords

client's shoesHave you put yourself in your customer’s or client’s shoes lately? This is an important little exercise while looking for the appropriate keywords that will connect your website and other media to your target audience.  Do you know what your keywords are? Do you change them periodically to optimize your search results?

It’s easy to forget about this important part of SEO and when you do think about it do you know what to do with those keywords? Here are some areas where your keywords should make an appearance:

  • In your Content of course
  • In your website’s Title Tag
  • In the Meta Description
  • Header Tags
  • Image and Alt Tags
  • In your Links

If you don’t know what these areas are, talk to your web designer and make sure this is included in your website.

Have a great 4th of July!

Sandi

Advanced Digital Imaging

Happy Friday! I’ve been enjoying my Advanced Digital Imaging class so much, I thought I’d share a few recent projects. All of the photos are my own. Both projects consist of 2 blended photos. To me, they depict summer and the places I love. Enjoy and have a great weekend!  -Sandi

Blended photo project

Blended photo project

What Do You Have On Your Website’s Home Page?

website client or customerDuring the month of February I’m attending Social Media Examiner’s Small Biz Success Summit.  It’s only the second day and I’m loving it.  We’ve already heard from some great speakers and I’m looking forward to going more in-depth on the finer points of social media marketing.  A couple of points were brought up today by Rich Brooks that I’d like to mention here.

First is the question of what is on your website’s home page.  So many websites treat their “home” page as an “about” page with information on the company, boasting how many years they’ve been in business, etc.  This is a problem because potential clients or customers generally want to know first of all:  what’s in it for them? They want to know what you are going to do for them. They want to know how you are going to make their life better.  Tell them right away on your home page or you will lose them.

The other point was that of your personal or staff photo. Do you have one on your site? It helps potential clients or customers to have a more personal connection to you and your business. Depending on your business type, this may or may not be important. In general, it’s important for the small business.

I know, we all have some horrible photos. That’s why you have a professional photographer take your photo or a staff photo. It’s worth it – they can do miracles.  🙂

What Is Your Brand?

brandingDo you know what your brand is?  Is it clear to you and your customers or clients? Or is it a bit fuzzy like the question mark?

It may help to first think of some popular brands that you are familiar with.  Think about your experience when you come in contact with that brand. Is it reliable, fast, caring, creative, inspiring…

Now think about yourself or your business and ask these questions:

  • How do others perceive you?
  • How do you want people to feel?
  • What do you have to offer?

Finally, how does that look in your branding and is it the same across all of your marketing?  Bold bright colors, pastels, clean, cluttered, simple, complex… Fill in the blank. All of this is important to think about before creating or overhauling your website and social media presence. 

Here is a link to a short 6 minute interview between Social Media Examiner and Mari Smith on personal brand that may be helpful to you:

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-create-your-personal-social-media-brand/

Design, Function, & Marketing – Which Is More Important?

social media marketingIn the last week I read a statement by someone and was also asked a difficult question, both of which got my wheels turning.

First the question: I was asked if I had to choose between web design and marketing, which would I choose?  I couldn’t answer the question.  I couldn’t choose.  Not only do I enjoy both, I believe the two go hand in hand.

As my illustration above shows, social media marketing points to your website.  Sure, you can choose to have your website on facebook but what happens when facebook changes once again or the masses decide to leave facebook for the next shiny object?  Your website apart from all of the social media is your one constant that won’t change unless you decide to change it.

The design of your website is important.  It’s your storefront; it presents your brand; it’s uniquely you or your business.  This brings me to the statement I read which said in a nutshell: design isn’t so important, function is.  Once again, I believe that both are important.  They go hand in hand.  In general, one without the other will fail.  Note, I said “in general”.  Yes, there are some exceptions to every rule.

All of this is the foundation of my business.  My tag line is “web design with peace of mind”.  Peace of mind comes in knowing that not only do you have a great looking website but that it’s functional and search engines will be able to find it.  Peace of mind also comes with a social media marketing strategy that will help your clients and customers find your website / business.

I know I’ve skimmed over some very important areas here. In future posts I will cover some of these areas more in-depth. Which specific area would you like to know more about?

How To Get The Best Results From Your Web Designer

web designerCommunication is key when it comes to getting the website of your dreams. Before contacting a designer, there are some things you can do to help the process. Think through some of these points first.

  • Content: what do you want, who will write it, and is it ready?
  • Colors: what do you like and dislike?
  • Do you have a logo? Do you want one?
  • Style: look around for some examples of what you like/dislike.
  • Branding: what is your image or what do you want it to be? Does it appeal to your target market? Is it you?

Thinking through these elements before contacting your designer will help the process greatly. Communicating them is the next step! While some of this may seem like a no brainer… It’s easier said than done.

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