Category: Online Marketing

The Designer-Client Partnership: You Gave Me Homework!

Guest Post by Julie Young, Young Design

I have a client (a CEO) who once exclaimed, “You’re always giving me homework!” And it’s true. There’s not a design project in the world that doesn’t require extensive client input. Otherwise, it’s just a guessing game.

The Design Project Partnership

In any project, the designer and client are in a partnership. If the client is lucky, the designer cares as much as s/he does about the quality of the final product. The questions we ask usually open up topics the client has never thought about. They lead to more ideas, which in turn lead to more opportunities for the client to showcase their company accurately. Doing the homework really pays off.

Nailing down the specifics takes work and time. Here are just a few of the essential questions we ask, most of which can only be answered by the client.

  • How will the product be distributed?
  • Has the branding been done? If not, the product is temporary until branding is put into place.
  • Who is the market?
  • Who is the competition?
  • Where does the product fit into the sales cycle?
  • Is the content really ready to go? and if not, who is the best person in the company to be interviewed for content development?

Doing this work also allows clients to get comfortable with their company profile and their marketing expectations. A well-thought-out piece of collateral has a great chance of getting results. Do your homework!

About the Author

Julie Young is a print and web designer at Young Design. For over 20 years, she has been creating quality branding, websites, print collateral and email marketing to help companies communicate with their customers in order to raise profiles and profits.

Build Trust to Build Your Business

Do your customers and prospects trust your business? Do they have confidence you will always provide the best products and services? With tight budgets and an uncertain economy, it is more essential than ever for businesses to build trust.

Customers and prospects want to know they can trust you with their needs and problems before they fill out a form on your website, email you, or set up a call.

Brand Trust Must Be Earned

Web content or a social post that illustrates that you and your brand can be trusted partners is not enough. Research shows that it takes 6-12 months (or more!) of solid non-sales marketing and communication to establish your business as a truly trusted partner.

Building trust means sharing case studies and testimonials, offering free consultation, demonstrating support, and highlighting expertise and industry knowledge. This needs to be done in a way that speaks to customers’ and potential customers’ interests and needs. It needs to be done consistently, and for a long time.

Understand How Your Customers Build Trust

Do you make a purchasing decision based on one piece of information? Probably not. And, it’s likely your prospects don’t either.

People need multiple touchpoints with your brand before they even take the step of connecting with you in some way. Make sure your marketing makes it easy for those multiple exposures. Make sure that your messaging builds a clear, consistent picture of your brand.

Make It Easy to Connect When Ready

Building trust takes time, but when prospects are ready make sure that is easy!

I recently wanted to contact a consultant who had nothing better than a generic contact form on their website. No phone, no email. No contact information in their LinkedIn profile either! I decided not to contact them at all.

Be sure a contact name (real person, please), email, and phone number are all easy to find. An online calendar tool is easy for prospects, too. They can pick the date and time that works for them.

Your inbound leads are only as good as your continuous, outbound brand messaging. If your marketing demonstrates every day why businesses should trust you, they will reach out when they need help because they’ve prequalified you from afar.

Do You Need a Blog?

You are posting content for your small business on social media. Do you still need a blog? Simple answer: Yes.

There are so many benefits to having a business blog. Not having one can actually hurt your impact in this competitive digital media world.

4 Reasons Every Business Needs a Blog

Search Engine Ranking and General Visibility. There’s no better way to drive traffic to your website than via search engines. To get a good ranking (aka search engine optimization), you need to be constantly publishing fresh content. Publishing to a blog regularly and consistently will help you get ranked for the related keywords that people type into search engines. The more you publish, the more opportunities you’ll have to rank for those keywords.

Control over Owned Channel. When you post content on social media channels, you don’t actually own your profile or the channel. You are just along for the ride with little or no control. When you post content on a blog hosted on your own website, you are creating a central point for your social media presence in a place that you own and control. You’re providing a permanent place for your content and links.

Expertise and Thought Leadership. If you want to build thought leadership in your industry, publishing a blog is the best way to do it. You can use your blog to establish your authority and thought leadership on your topic of expertise.

Generate Connections. It is easy to add a subscription form to your blog to enable anyone to subscribe to your updates. Blog posts can also invite comments. Plus, a blog is a common place where people look to ask questions. All of these help to build your base of people who are interested in you and your business.

Bonus: Blogging Makes Web Updates Easy!

Here’s another reason you need a blog for your business website – it gives you a built-in, easy way to add news and other new content. Need to change hours – blog about it! Want to announce a new product or service? Write a post.

You can post text, videos, and images in a place where people are looking for your latest.

Blogs posts are inherently easy to add to a site. It’s a quick and easy place to share new things. You can later tackle the larger job of changing website pages or navigation.