Welome to my blog page. The content on this page will change periodically, but all content will be available to read in the archive section. Sometimes I will write down my thoughts that I think will benefit my viewers and sometimes I will resubmit on this page a blog written by someone else that I think will benefit the people who visit my site. I would love to hear your comments and thoughts about the things I present here. I hope to start and continue a great working relationship with you all. I am always here to offer great services and support when the need arises.

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  • 21 reasons why you need a website

    Reason #1 – Online brochure

    Companies spend millions creating brochures and distributing them. By having a website you can skip that entirely. Your potential customers can find out about you and any of your products online. If you get most of your business through networking and personal connections, then they will want to check out your website.

    Reason #2 – More customers

    More than 2.4 billion people use the internet every day, and some 90% of those have purchased something, or contacted a company, online in the last 12 months. So by not having a website, you will be missing out on a big piece of the pie.

    Reason #3 – Business value

    Have you tried getting a business loan recently? It’s not easy, but if you try and the bank manager asks to see your website, you better have a pretty good one. It doesn’t just stop with the bank, the perceived value of your business will be lower in everyone’s eyes – especially your customers.

    Reason #4 – Influence

    By having a website potentially thousands of people are going to see it. You are able to influence people’s decisions and educate them.

    Reason #5 – Time to show off

    You know that great feeling you get when people recognize your work? Well, by having a website you can show off what you do and take pride in your work.

    Reason #6 – Helps with business goals

    That’s right! When it comes to writing the content for your website you are going to revisit things about your business that you haven’t in years. You will most likely reassess your business goals.

    Reason #7 – Low barriers of entry

    Ever wanted to start a business? Well, now you can do it with virtual space. In fact, by using some free website providers you don’t have to pay a penny.

    Reason #8 – 24 hours per day

    Your website runs 24/7 without any supervision or need to lock it up. You can always be there for your customers.

    Reason #9 – Communication with customers

    By having a blog or even just a feed on your website, you can update customers on your newest offers, products, promotions, events, photos, or any other content.

    Reason #10 – Marketing

    The internet has opened up a whole new world of marketing that didn’t exist before. Your website can attract new business by using a whole host of low cost marketing techniques.

    Reason #11 – Customer support

    You can greatly reduce the cost of customer support by have a ticketing system, or even just an FAQ on your website. I can think of about 5 companies off the top of my head that streamline your customer service straight from your website.

    Reason #12 – Email@mywebsite.com

    I know there are other ways to do this, but by having a website you can have your own email address@whateveryouwant.com. It is more professional and easier to remember. I know you love your steveman99286534@gmail.com , but it doesn’t really resonate with customers.

    Reason #13 – Press releases

    I know that sounds a bit far out, but it is true. You can run really cheap press releases online about your business, but to do it you will require a website. In fact, I have had clients who were absolute nobodies get one million views on YouTube because of online press releases.

    Reason #14 – Stick it to the man

    The best answer to “Why do I need a website?” would be that you can stick it to the man. It is the easiest way to quit your job and earn a living.

    Reason #15 – Any topic or hobby will do

    Do you love sports? How about ballet, alternative dance, photography, holidays, Kit-Kats, cars, skateboards, science or animals? Well, then you have a business idea just waiting to happen. The internet has room for an unlimited number of niche blogs that can attract traffic and revenue. Just pick something you love and start writing about it.

    Reason# 16 – Connect with fellow web masters

    On a little side note, if you own a website you get to call yourself a ‘web master’. Pretty cool! But reason #16 for ‘why I need a website’ is that you can easily make new business and personal connections with other website owners. This can lead to extra streams of income for you!

    Reason #17 – Gives you a voice

    Have you ever been in an argument with someone and said “Well, I have written an article about that on my website, and actually, that isn’t the case.” It feels great! For some reason people don’t want to argue with you if you’ve written about something on your website. It also gives you a place where you can voice your opinion without judgment. If someone leaves you a comment you don’t like you can just drag it over to the spam folder.

    Reason #18 – Do business your own way

    You don’t need permission from your boss or company lawyer. Ash Ambridge drops the ‘F-Bomb’ all the time because she can, and no else is asking her to stop. Now she has a world class business with thousands of customers.

    Reason #19 – Beat the big guys

    Have you ever wanted to get into business, but don’t know how to compete with all the big names out there? By creating an incredibly beautiful website with a solid strategy behind it you can smash the big guys to pieces. You have no chance of building bigger skyscrapers, but your website can break down the perceived wall between you and them.

    Reason #20 – Instant credibility

    Have you ever had difficulty making that sale? Or convincing someone that you are the real deal. By having a well structured website you can foster instant credibility with anyone. You can provide the ultimate proof that you are, in fact, the realest of all deals (couldn’t resist that phrase).

    Reason #21 – Helps you to find a new job

    I bet you didn’t see this one coming. I have been harping on about how a website can help your business, but it can help you personally too. Not only can a website host your resume or CV, but by owning and managing your website you have demonstrated tons of hard and soft skills. Having worked in HR once upon a time, I know it is valuable.

    So… why do you need a website?

    Can you think of a couple of reasons why you shouldn’t? Let me help you make a great first impression on the web.

  • have a website? 10 Reasons to Upgrade Your Website

    By Carly Crow
    July 3, 2014
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    Statistics overwhelmingly show that your website is very likely your customers’ first impression of your brand or store. That being said, keeping your site up-to-date and relevant is definitely in your best interest. An upgrade may mean a new site, but in some cases may be just mean fixing up what you already have. Here are 10 signs that it might be time to make some changes to your website:

    1. You cannot update your website’s content.

    The content on your website is the reason why people visit your site and also why they choose come back again or why they may lose interest. Not to mention the affect that out-of-date or irrelevant content has on your site’s SEO affecting the ability for search engines to find you. And, accordining to PR Newswire study, 89% of Consumers Conduct Their Product Research Using Search Engines. (Source: PR Newswire). Having the ability to update content or add new content is a must and some content management platforms, like WordPress, are as easy to use as editing text in a Microsoft Word document. So, if you cannot add content, you could be missing out on traffic.

    2. Your website does not link to your social media sites.

    Did you know that 78% of Consumers Say That the Posts Made by Companies on Social Media Influence their Purchases. (Source: Forbes). The conversations that are had on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are beneficial to your website visitors as well. Linking the sites can open the gates for traffic to access your brand in more than one place online. This can give the user a deeper sense of your brand and your existing community.

    3. Your website is not set up to convert visitors to prospects.

    When a user visits your website, this is your chance to grab them by the hand and give them a tour of your brand, products and services, much like you would if they walked into your brick and mortar location. If your website doesn’t invite them to look around or give them opportunities to interact, you may be missing opportunities to filter users into your sales funnel. Look at your homepage. Are there opportunities for one to sign up for a newsletter, watch a video, view products, shop or browse? Is the call to action clear?

    4. Your website is not mobile friendly.

    If your website is built in Flash (which is not mobile or search engine friendly at all), you’ll definitely want to look into a new site. But, even if your website does not render well on a mobile device, or if you don’t have a mobile version of your website, you could be missing as much as 27% of your website traffic, according to Smartmetrics.

    5. Your website is not user friendly.

    If one can’t figure out how to navigate through or use your website, why would they visit or ever come back to your site? When thinking of how best to organize your website, try to put yourself in the seat of the user. What do they want to know? In what order do they want to know it?

    6. Your website loads slowly.

    If your site loads slowly, people are leaving your website without even giving it a chance. 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.  Learn more about faster load times: http://www.rcpmarketing.com/faster-website/.

    7. Your website is not as good as your competitors website.

    People use the Internet to shop and learn about the products and services they are looking for or are interested in. So, chances are if they found your website, they also have looked at your competitors sites as well. If their site is more user friendly, draws them in and looks better than yours, you might be losing more money in missed prospects than it would cost to upgrade your website.

    8. Your website is more than 3 years old.

    The world of web development is ever-changing and in three years, the options have exponentially increased and changed.  There are so many new options, widgets, apps and integration opportunities that make your website more user-friendly and appealing to your audience more than ever before. Sometimes this means an upgrade to what you already have and sometime this can mean a completely new website.

    9. Your website is an online brochure.

    People expect more than just text about your offerings and brand when they come to your site. In fact, they need more to take full advantage of getting to know you. A website no longer benefits you or them if it doesn’t encourage and facilitate interaction.

    10. The purpose of your website has changed.

    If your marketing strategy has changed, it may be time to change your website to match the new plan. For example, at the time that you built your website, your goal may have been to sell products. Now, your goal may be to increase repeat business. In order to keep your website relevant, you may want to evolve your website navigation and options to match your goals.

    Let me help you update your website.

  • 7 reasons to hire a graphic designer

    1. You don't have time.

    Small business owners have a lot on their plates. That means you may put off doing a new marketing piece, even if it is something you really need. Hiring a designer to help means you can get that project done and begin using it to make you more money.

    2. You can't afford not to.

    By the time you learn how to use that page layout software that came free with your computer, you may have invested several hours. Couldn't that have been used more productively? If you could have paid a designer $500 and used your time to earn $1,000 for your business, you have not chosen wisely.

    3. You are trying to uniquely brand your business.

    Now, not every small business needs to stand out. If you're a locksmith in a small community, for example, it may be enough to just show up in internet searches and be in the phone book. But if you're in a market with a dozen other locksmiths, you want to stand out. You don't do that with a clip art logo or canned flier that looks the same as 10 of those 12 competitors. Using marketing materials that are unique and stand out are a way for people to remember you. And if they think they've seen you before, they are more likely to choose to contact you for your products or services.

    4. You want to keep your look consistent.

    If you use different logos, different fonts and different messages everywhere, it's going to be hard to look professional - never mind standing out in a potential customer's mind. Designers know how to watch those little details and ensure that every piece of marketing communications fits with everything else. Sure, your customers may not notice if you used Times New Roman in one ad and Calibri in another, but the subconscious mind picks up details and uses them to form an overall opinion of your business. You look and seem more put together if everything does, in fact, fit together.

    5. You save yourself a lot of headaches.

    Let's say you do put together something yourself, and send it off to the printer. When the proof - or worse, the finished product - comes back with problems that you didn't anticipate, fixing or reprinting will take even more time and money. Designers know what to do to make sure a file prints out correctly.

    6. You get a brand new source of ideas.

    Designers are generally pretty creative folks, and they like to help their clients get the most out of every project. Hiring a designer is likely to mean that you'll end up with a better finished product than you could have put together, even if you're skilled at making things look good. His or her ideas may lead to a more eye-catching, more appealing and more polished piece than you would have created – thus leading to more attention from potential customers and more sales.

    7. You take more pride in your marketing materials.

    Have you ever been in a situation where you had an ugly or boring business card? Were you less likely to hand it out? If that brochure is outdated and uses a weird color scheme, you may just keep it behind the counter instead of displaying it. All your marketing materials should be the best they can be for your business, or you'll have some hesitation in presenting them to new customers.

    Let me help you achieve all your graphic goals without compromise.

  • 3 reasons to update your logo

    You’re Outdated.

    Your logo may have been exciting and relevant 10-30 years ago but today it only makes people reminiscent for the 1990s. If you’re logo is outdated, a fresh look could bring renewed vibrancy and excitement to your brand.

    You’ve Changed.

    Well, maybe not you personally, but certainly if your company’s products, services, target market, or mission statement have changed. At its core, the logo should illustrate who you are as a company. Your logo serves as a first introduction to your company and it should leave a lasting impression.

    You’re Moving.

    Either literally or electronically. If you’re physically moving then it may be a good time to review your company branding. After all, you already have to print new letterhead, business cards, signage and other materials, why not review your brand while you’re at it?

    If you are moving online, it can also be time to consider a logo update. Let’s say you’ve been a brick and mortar business, and you’ve decided to foray into the online world. How does your logo and branding translate to an online environment? Is it easy to recognize on a computer screen? Does it still represent the business?

    Logo updates can have reinvigorating effects on customers and employees and can add a fresh vitality to your business. Let me help you create a great new logo that will help make you and your business stay up-to-date and contemporary.

  • why you need a cartoon avatar

    Unique personal brands are more important than ever before. Anybody can start a blog for free, sign up for social networks, create podcasts and internet TV shows, and be a part of the Big Conversation in hundreds of different ways. But getting recognized—getting heard—getting seen, and being remembered is actually tougher than ever. Although there are so many different avenues, networks, tools, and channels available for creating the unique voice—your personal brand—standing out from the crowd is just that much more difficult, yet necessary.

    One way you can stand out, especially on sites like Twitter, is to have a great avatar. A great avatar will help people remember you instantly. And you should use it everywhere, across the board. Use it on your blog if you have one (you should). Use it on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, everywhere. Even if people don’t automatically remember your name or your website, they’ll remember your avatar and make an association. When they see it again later, on another network or site, they’ll be more likely to pay attention, to friend you, and maybe remove a few of those degrees of separation.

    It’s About The Face

    It’s been proven that human beings are wired to recognize and remember faces. And even though you might not be good at remembering people’s names, you always remember their face. Even if you haven’t seen somebody in 10, 20, or 30 years, and despite the affects of time, you’ll almost always recognize them when you meet them again.

    So it only makes sense that if your goal is to have people recognize you, you’ll want them to see your face. But photographs are boring. Why not get a kerricature instead?  I illustrated my own avatar. Before I had it, I used a selfie. The new avatar is much better. It’s an awesome drawing and looks pretty much exactly like me. If you’d only seen my avatar and hadn’t met me in person and I walked into the room, you’d know instantly it was me.

    Great Avatars

    I think the most successful avatars are the ones that help people connect with you (and your brand) on a personal level. Let me help you create a great avatar that will help make your followers remember you.