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

Social Media Strategy

As a small business, do you have a social media strategy or are your efforts haphazard at best? Too often the latter is the answer which means your efforts are quite ineffective. In order to be effective we need to know why we are there (on Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.) and we need to know the unique needs and interests of our audience. Speaking of audience, do you know who your audience is? Who are you speaking to and why?

Way too often social media is used just to get leads. Sorry but that just is NOT what it’s about. It’s about connection and building relationships and it can actually be FUN! The sooner we can wrap our brains around this, the better off we will be. Embrace it. I look at social media as an avenue to connect with my friends,  learn from others (professionals in my field),  and help others (friends and clients).

When it comes to strategy, think about the chain reaction that occurs when the above is your foundation: Sharing, connecting, and discussing leads to… building your credibility which leads to… a spark of interest in your brand which leads to… a community… and finally, new customers or clients.

So, what do you think?  Do you have a strategy?  How’s it working for you?  I’d love to hear about your experience!

-Sandi

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?

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