Promote Your Business

Four Things You Can Do Today to Promote Your Business

Promoting a business has never been easier than it is today. It’s perfectly easy to gain positive momentum, and the following four methods are easy and effective ways to promote your business. These methods will help any business of any size in reaching a larger audience and greater profits.

1. Start A Social Media Conversation

Social media is easily the most straightforward way to promote a business that exists on the Internet today. While many businesses struggle with SEO and PPC, social media is a relative breeze.

Where SEO and PPC both have tedious learning curves, social media is all about attracting the right people and spreading a message. By simply opening the door to communication through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Google+, any business can get potential customers involved while attracting their friends and acquaintances.

These people will inevitably provide valuable feedback, and if they click on those “Like” or “+1” buttons, hundreds or even thousands of people can see that message.

2. Meet People in Person

Marketing today is primarily focused on forms of media. What many businesses have forgotten is the value in direct communication. Instead of relying on television, radio or Internet ads, they could easily be securing new customers by simply going out of their way to talk to new people.

It’s never a good idea to open a conversation with a hidden agenda, so be sure to relax and speak normally. Plenty of people enjoy a good conversation, and if they are a potential customer, they are far more likely to buy from someone they trust than from some radio advertisement that they’ve instinctively learned to tune out. Never underestimate the value of face-to-face networking.

3. Explore Online Advertising

Everyone wants the safe, already-blazed trail to follow when it comes to the world of online advertising. Unfortunately, the “advertising blindness” phenomenon makes this a horrible path to traverse. Simply put, people learn to ignore specific types of ads after being exposed to them consistently.

Those ads get filed away in the Rolodex of their brain as useless and ignorable. When dealing with online advertising, try to push into new territories that other advertisers are neglecting. Online communities, forums, budding websites and even struggling start-ups can quickly become an extremely efficient resource.

What’s more is that these have been neglected by advertisers for over a decade and will likely be a safe investment for another decade to come.

4. Launch A Direct Mailing Campaign

When a business needs to extend their marketing reach, a direct mail campaign makes an ideal solution. Direct mailing campaigns are fairly easy to set up and affordable.

The first step is to create your content with a target audience in mind. It would be wise to invest in a graphic designer to create the look and feel of your promotional piece.

The second step is to compile a mailing list. The list could be made up of existing clients, or new prospects. A custom code or number should be printed on the direct mailing piece. For example a QR code could be used to lead potential customers to a specific page of your website. This is an effective method of tracking the performance of your campaign as well as measuring your ROI.

It might be tough at first to really go against the grain of conventional wisdom, but the real experts know that successful marketing is all about finding the right people. The business perspective tends to be all about supply and demand, but remembering human nature is one of the easiest ways to avoid many unnecessary struggles. Always remember that there’s a person on the other side of the advertisement.

Guggenheim-Museum-Frank-Lloyd-Wright-1959

How Frank Lloyd Wright Became America’s Most Celebrated Architect

Incorporating nature into architecture and design hardly seems like a radical idea nowadays. Especially given the growing global emphasis on conservation and green living, finding ways to blend form and function with the environment may be deemed obvious by some.

A mere 100 years ago, though, this philosophy was barely more than a vision by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. This June 8 marks the 146th birthday of Wright, a pioneer in building design whose influence continues to resonate across multiple artistic fields to this day.

Wright’s generally accepted status as America’s most celebrated and groundbreaking architect – pun intended, as he was a prolific visionary – is all the more impressive considering that he never received a high school diploma or college degree. As is the case with many creative thinkers, Wright found academia too tedious for his eclectic mind. Before he had a degree in hand, he went to work for Joseph Lyman Silsbee, an architect in Chicago.

As had been the case with his schooling, though, Wright eventually left Silsbee due to the firm’s inability to continually stimulate his fast-paced mind. Soon after he found himself under the direct tutelage of famed Chicago architect Louis Sullivan from whom Wright received invaluable opportunities to design his first private homes.

A Unique Vision

Wright was very much in conflict with the prevailing architectural trends of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as popular Victorian conventions stressed ornate design and room separation. From the very beginning of his career, though, Wright focused on fusing artificial structures with the surrounding landscape. Over time, this design philosophy came to be known as organic architecture.

Architectural experts and historian buffs generally agree that Frank Lloyd Wright went through several distinct creative phases, the first of which is known as his Prairie Style period. Even during this earliest era of innovation, Wright became widely known for his style that sought to harmonize building design with nature.

Though his low rooflines, open floor plans, and horizontal motifs were initially at odds with the greater architectural community, his unique aesthetic soon gained great popularity with homeowners in the greater Chicago community. Wright lived in Oak Park, a town just on the outskirts of the burgeoning Midwestern metropolis, and there he designed more than four-dozen buildings that each exhibited traits of his organic architecture philosophy. Further exemplifying this mode of design, Wright incorporated into his architectural plans the use of local materials in the construction of his creations.

Due to his marital indiscretions, Wright suffered through a brief period of rejection by the local community. In response, he moved to Europe and later on relocated his studio to Wisconsin. As he regained his professional stature, Wright took commissions for both private residences and larger organizations such as the Guggenheim Foundation that saw his designs built across the nation. Aside from his many works in the Midwest, Frank Lloyd Wright’s creations can be found in California, Pennsylvania, and New York.

A Continued Legacy

Since his death in 1959, Wright’s influence has endured both in the United States and around the world. Though some may note his impact only on the architectural realm, his devotion to nature and the unification of structure and the environment has found global appeal.

Wright’s aesthetic can be found in other architectural creations such as those by Mies van der Rohe, and his emphasis on organic design has even transformed fashion and print. Both fields now commonly incorporate natural materials, including hemp and recycled paper, into their products.

Though more than 50 years have passed since his death, Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision is clearly a guiding force for contemporary artists and the common public alike.

Difference Between Web and Print Design

Differences In Designing For Web And For Print

Most people believe that designing for print is the same thing as when designing for the internet. Professional designers know that this is not true.

There are various cases in which a person that has more experience in web design will create graphics for a campaign and the print shop will say that it cannot print as the graphics should have been done in CMYK. This is, of course, just a general way of saying that the design is not suitable for print.

There are various differences that appear between the two types of designing when referring to layout, color, media types and technology used. Let us quickly run through them so that we can have a better understanding of the situation we are faced with.

Layout Differences

We have strict rules in layouts used in both print design and web design. Our goal is always to highlight content but we do not have the same space available.

Web Design Layout:

  • Everything is measured in pixels.
  • The design has to be dynamic. This means that it needs to look appropriate on any device and any resolution.
  • General placement rules have to be respected for proper navigation.

Print Layout:

  • Everything is measured in inches or centimeters.
  • The available space is known and based on the type of media that is created (i.e. business card or poster).
  • Safety regions have to be included in order to have optimum printing results.

The web designer delivers everything to programmers while the print designer will ship everything directly to a printer.

Color Differences

rgb-cmyk

It is quite tough to work with color in both design types. What counts the most is to understand all color models that are used (CMYK, RGB and even HSV).

Print Color:

  • The colors that appear on your screen can be different on paper. It is a difference has to be taken into account at all times. This is the big problem that appears when referring to what I said in the beginning of the article with CMYK.
  • Process and Spot colors are chosen. In case you did not know, these are colors that are chosen from a pre-determined palette.

Web Color:

  • Colors seen on 2 different monitors can be different.
  • When compared to print design, contrast and brightness will affect the outcome in a different manner.
  • The color codes that are used are made out of 6 digits (hexadecimal code).

Media Type Differences

media differences

To put it simply, when you design for the web you are working on a piece that will be viewed on a device that is capable, offering a piece that is always evolving. When you design for print jobs, there is a finished product that is completely tangible.

The web designer usually works on HTML sites, banner advertising, email newsletters, flash sites, WordPress templates and so on. The print designer will work on newspaper ads, logos, business cards, posters, product designs, magazine layouts and so on.

Technology Differences

We do have a similarity here. In both fields we have to stay up-to-date with technology and we need to evolve. Both web designers and print designers will use specialized software like Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw or Adobe Photoshop.

The print designer needs to stay focused on the advancements made in the print industry and the web designer needs to be aware of what the programmer can do.

It has to be added that in most cases the web designer will deliver his work to a programmer and a very good collaboration between them has to exist.

The Need To Know As Much As Possible About Both Worlds

Atlantis | A Website That Resembles A Poster

In an ideal world we would have print designers working on print projects and web designers working on web projects. This is not actually the case nowadays. The work of these two types of designers is constantly getting close to a pattern. The best designers in the world can do both jobs even if there is more experience in one type based on the type of projects that were received in the past.

It is crucial as a designer to know the differences between print work and web work. A good knowledge of both can help you become an asset for any employer. Such knowledge is especially important for freelancers and that is something that I should know best.

I worked on both print jobs and web design jobs and in the beginning I had many problems because I did not know the differences between the two. I will always remember the first argument I had with a person working at a print shop that told me that my poster would end up printed with different colors. That was the day that I almost got fired. Make sure that you learn from both worlds. It will open more possibilities.

web builders

Top 5 Free Web Builders for Small Business Owners

In these rough economic times it is important to find effective ways of marketing your business with minimum expense. An attractive and informative website has the potential to bring you customers like no other form of marketing or advertising can. However, not every savvy businessman is a software expert or artistic designer.

The good news is you really don’t have to be because there are dozens of programs out there that can provide you with an excellent foundation for your site. Given enough time and patience you can you can learn some neat tricks of web designing through Adobe training and be able to run an effective website by yourself.

Here are five of the best free online web builders that can provide you a great foundation to getting your site going, all of which are free:

1. Moonfruit

Moonfruit Web Builder

This UK based web building company is one of the most popular around. Moonfruit’s “Drag & Drop” templates are quick and easy to use for more amateur site builders. It utilizes basic point and click interface and as of the end of 2012 it has been responsible for the creation of over 5.5 million websites.

2. Ucoz

Ucoz Web Builder

This site builder features 246 different design templates, a mobile version you can access from your phone, and a user webtop that allows you to easily maintain control of all of your different sites from one panel.

3.Intuit

intuit web builder

Specializing in financial and tax organization software, Intuit is one of the more optimum choices for those in finance businesses such as accounting, banking, and stock trading. Founded 1983, it one of the oldest and most successful website builders out there. For the past several years, Fortune has consistently featured the company on both it’s list of “America’s Most Admired Software Companies”.

4. Weebly

weebly web builder

Every site element of Weebly is “Drag & Drop” and is compatible with Macs OS, Microsoft Windows, and Linux computers. For business owners that like to keep separate blogs or run multiple businesses this builder would be very convenient as it automatically creates a mobile version of each website once it is completely set up.

5. Wix

wix web builder

Wix also uses “Drag & Drop” tools to help you create HTML sites, mobile sites and even allows you customize Facebook pages which can be another effective way of marketing your business.

All of these website builders are free, easy to use, and are constantly evolving to help site owners portray their business in an attractive, marketable fashion. They also have great personnel to help you out with any complication you might encounter in designing your site.