Category

Branding

The 5 Must-Haves Of A Design Consultation

By | Branding, Graphic Design, Website Design | No Comments

So, you just bought a new website, logo or brochure for your company. You want it to look amazing and you might already have some ideas of how it should look in your head.

Our suggestion? Remember that graphic designers are designers – not mind readers. (Although our graphics department does have many super powers we pull out from time to time.)

Here’s what you can do to help us get the vision in your head onto the layout we present:

1. Know what you don’t want in your website design

In every design consultation, I ask the client what sites they like or what colors they prefer. A common response:

“I don’t care.”

But, experience has shown me that this not true – you DO care about the look and colors on your website (or logo, or brochure, etc.) So not stating any preference isn’t a good response.

When you don’t give any direction, you’re allowing the graphics team to come at you with anything. For example, a hot pink and neon green website.

Unless you’re a roller skating rink or company bringing back the 1980s, this probably isn’t your thing. But, if your input is “I don’t care,” it gives us free reign to be creative.

So the point – analyze yourself and your business. Pick out colors and a “feel” you want to replicate. This will save you lots of time, and possibly even money.

2. Decide on Color Schemes for your Website

I know, I’m back on color, but it’s a big issue. Choosing design colors isn’t like picking paint for your walls – you don’t need exact color schemes. But having an idea of a few colors and “feel” that want will help the process go smoothly.

Don’t just give us one color, for example – my business logo is red.

Instead, give us the type of color schemes you prefer. We’ll need at least two or three. Input like

“I prefer warm colors over bright colors.”

or

“Cold colors or a combination of warm and cold colors work best for us.”

This type of direction helps our team nail it.

How to Pick Website Colors

If you’ve never sat down to think about colors, here are a few tips to help you get started:

3. Look At Website Layouts

Once we have colors sorted out, our next question will be layout. Again, even if you don’t think you have an idea or preference on your site layout – you most likely do. Giving us your thoughts will help us present a website design that you’ll like.

Use these tips to get started on analyzing website layouts:

Analyze other websites – any website

Look at other websites and analyze what you do and don’t like about them. A few things to think through:

  • What is your style?
  • Do you like a lot of black and white?
  • Are you more attracted to clean and minimal designs?
  • Do you need something “busier” to incorporate all the elements you want featured?

Note:  When it comes to a website, there’s a difference between clean colors and a clean layout. To a designer, clean colors usually means a lot of white. A clean layout is more about keeping elements separate, like the picky eater who doesn’t like their food touching on the plate.

Analyze other websites – competitors

In the midst of looking at other websites, make sure to take a peek at what your competitors do.

Many new clients come to us with their competitor websites and tell us what they like and don’t like about them. THIS IS GREAT!

Just remember that when it comes to layouts, you don’t have to simply stick with what your competitor is doing. We want to see examples from any company – in or out of your industry – and features you want.

Whether it’s a website, brochure, poster or mailing, any examples of things you like will help your designer.

4. Bring In All of your Graphic Stuff

Typically, Turn The Page customers are not brand new to business. Companies typically have been up and running anywhere from three months to 50 years.

This means you probably have some kind of marketing materials. Whether it’s a logo that your neighbor’s son came up with or a full catalog of items you sell… we want to see it all.

Even if you don’t like it. (Especially if you do.)

All of your existing stuff helps us know what direction to take for your website design. It’s the same reason we always look at a new website client’s old website. We ask,

What do you like about your old site?

Typically, the immediate response is:   “NOTHING!

However, after we talk about it for a little bit the client will say something like:

“Oh, that button that says ‘Follow Us on Twitter,’ we still want that on our homepage.”

All are good things we need to know – up front.

5. Trust Your Graphic Designer

When I call you for a design consultation, that means you have already made a decision. And we are so thankful you chose Turn The Page with your website or graphic design project.

You should always have a say in what you want – after all, it is your company and your brand. We want your opinions and ideas to be part of the process!

However, our best designs typically come from a scenario where the client gave great input and then allowed the graphic designer freedom. When we can be innovative and do something new,  or create something you may not have seen before, we typically push the bar for our clients.

Of course, if you don’t like it – then you don’t like it. And it’s your investment, we will work until it’s right.

But, know that designers think creatively and a lot of them like to push the envelope. By hiring us at Turn The Page, you can use this to your advantage and really make your website stand out.

Utilize these five steps when it comes time for your design consultation. We bet in the end, if you give us this input, we will have you convinced we are super heroes who can read your mind.

Twitter Etiquette

By | Branding, digital media, Social Media | No Comments

I am a big fan of Emily Post’s Etiquette. The book is a wonderful guide in how to live your life with grace. Although it is difficult to follow all of the rules (some people are better than others) I strive to take the basic principles and use them as best I can.

As an online marketer, I am always surprised when people forget their manners while on the internet.  I have read countless studies on why people’s behavior changes, but I really think that most are unaware that they are being naughty.

Twitter is just one of the places that I see room for improvement.  So here are a few tips to help you out.

Everyday Manners.  Twitter gives the average consumer lots of power.  The more followers they have, the more powerful they are.  But with that comes responsibility.  Just like in the off-line world, you should respect others, be considerate, and be honest.

If you are reposting a tweet, make sure to use RT and give the credit to the original author.  Helping them get their message out is your responsibility if you are going to use their words and/or ideas.  Just like you would want credit for your awesome post, give them theirs.

Use DM when you are mentioning a tweep and the content is not public information.

Greetings and Introductions.  Emily says the first essential  of good greeting manners is taking notice of people.

When you acquire a new follower, it is polite to introduce yourself and thank them for the follow. You can do that with an automatic response tweet, but a personalized mention is even better. I can probably do a whole post on the pros and cons of automatic response tweets, but let’s leave that for another post.

When you follow someone, send a DM or mention them and let them know why you are following them. They will find it flattering and who knows what kind of connection that could lead to.

Follow Friday (#FF) is a way to introduce a tweep to your connections.  Instead of just posting their twitter handle, let your followers know why they should follow them.

If your tweep mentions you  in a #FF, thank them for the mention.

If someone posts a positive experience about your business, it is important to acknowledge their experience with a reply, and it can encourage others to do the same.

Dealing with Rudeness.  People are more likely to comment on a product, brand or service when they’ve had a really bad experience or a really good experience.

If your business is mentioned in a negative post, it is wise to acknowledge their experience with a reply and invite them to talk off-line so you can correct the situation. When others see your response, it is more likely to defuse the negative attention.  It is important that you treat them as you would (or should) in the off-line world.

Online Etiquette Matters. Following basic rules of etiquette allows us to face “whatever the future may bring with strength of character and integrity.” And isn’t that what we want for ourselves and our business?

Facebook etiquette

By | Blog, Branding, Business Growth, Facebook, Online Marketing, Social Media | No Comments

When we are communicating and interacting with people it’s important to identify your audience. Once you have done that then you can pick the type of etiquette that is most approperate. Even with Facebook there is etiquette. With Facebook it is personal more than it is business. That’s not saying you can’t do business on Facebook. Business is done all the time on Social Media sites you just want to make sure you are doing business correctly.

Business Pages vs Personal Pages- You first want to create a business page for your business not a friend page. One Facebook frowns upon this, and we don’t want to upset the Facebook Gods. Second we friend our friends we don’t friend a business, we like a business. I don’t tell go to the Gap because I’m friends with it I go to the Gap because I like it.  So you make a Business page for people to LIKE.

Posting on your Personal Page- With the separation of business and personal pages it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t talk about your business at all. What we do for a living or the businesses we own make up who we are. Heck we spend more time with our coworkers then our families,  if you own a business you have most likely pored blood sweat and tears into it. So you should be proud of what you do and your product. Please tell your friends and family about it, but you don’t want it to be the only thing your do on Facebook. We are friends with our friend to see what is happening in their lives not just their business.

Postings on your Business Page-  Although it is tempting to just post business on you business page this truly doesn’t drive business to you page. Most people are not going to go to it unless they are looking for something they want at the time. But if you make it entertaining as well as informational you will be surprised by how people want to engage in your page. You can post quizzes, articles, and humours videos. People want to be entertained and this will help them remember your business.

Dealing with conflict- Sometimes you might post something and receive negative feed back or someone may just post on your wall negative feed back. How we respond to this is half the battle. People will see how you handle criticism and make decisions on if they want to do business with you. Just respond with an explanation or if you can do anything to help them and move on. Don’t take it personally and don’t be shocked when people don’t agree with you. We are all different and that’s what makes the world go round!

Hopefully some of these tips have helped you and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Facebook for business!!