• Take advantage of local search for your business

    On: April 30, 2013
    In: News
    Views: 880

    40% of all online searches have local intent.  Are you taking advantage of all the ways local search can drive these potential customers to your website?

    1)      Start with GetListed.org ~ a local dashboard and trade tool that will allow you to see how your business is indexed in four of the most popular local search engines

    2)      Make sure your business is represented on other local search sites such as Foursquare, Yelp, Superpages, City Search, Insider Pages, etc.

    3)      Fully complete your company’s information including driving and map information.  Be sure this information is consistent across all local search sites to help your SEO

    4)      If feasible, make it easy for consumers to contact you quickly with a click-to call button or put your phone number in bold.

    Taking the time to claim your local listings and making sure your company information is up-to-date, will give you the benefit of driving more traffic to your website and customers to your business.

    Katrina Noble, Media Director

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  • De-Stress and Be Creative

    On: April 25, 2013
    In: Fun Office Tips
    Views: 1361

    I don’t know about you, but when I’m stressed out I find it hard to be creative. In our line of work, we can’t afford to have these distractions because creativity is what being a designer is all about!

    I recently started taking steps in my own life to reduce stress… I found that things such as family life and health issues can be significant stressers, but so can the place where you spend most of your waking hours – your office. I began looking at my own office and thinking about the things I can do to help make my workspace a more relaxing and stress-free place.

    Here are a few tips to de-stressing your workspace:

    Studies show that colors in your surrounding can impact your mood, so whether
    you’re painting an accent wall in your office or choosing art to hang up, choose
    your colors wisely! Stick to brighter and more cheerful hues (such as yellows, oranges
    and lime greens) because they tend to make you feel more joyful. Shy away from
    darker colors (such as blue) because they tend to make you feel more somber
    or serious.

    The more your office feels like you, the happier you will be. Bring in photos of family,
    friends or even your pets! Create your own artwork for the space – you can even
    include inspirational sayings in your art. Another personal touch to add to your
    zen-like workspace is to hang artwork of places you’ve visited or places you’d
    like to go.

    Surround yourself with living object, such as live plants, flowers or fish. These items
    help create a peaceful and more energetic environment. (You can see the new
    addition to my office in the picture above – my new Crown Tail Betta Fish…
    his name is Pantone.)

    We’ve all had that rocky relationship or the one that ended badly, but your desk
    shouldn’t be a place to remind you of that! Get rid of pictures of your ex… you don’t
    need the distraction! Also, keep items like fake or dead things (such as silk or dried
    flowers) to a minimum as the kill positive energy.

    Piles of papers, stacks of files, and junk all over the place can knock out good
    energy and make a space feel chaotic. (I’m stressed out just thinking about it!)
    Keep your mess behind closed doors such as a file cabinet or make friends with
    your trash can and just get rid of the stuff that’s not necessary. Keeping clutter
    out of sight helps you think more positively and be more creative!

    Good luck in your mission to de-stress your workspace! Whether you try just one or all of these tips, I hope it helps you say goodbye to stress and hello to creativity!

    Kristen Oaxaca, Graphic Designer

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  • 5 Ways to Protect and Track Your Online Reputation

    On: April 23, 2013
    In: News
    Views: 958

    What are people saying about your company?  Be pro-active when it comes to monitoring your online reputation by using these simple methods:

    1)      Conduct an Online Search – Get in the habit of searching for your company or product online and see what you find.  Perform a general and news search to see what comes up.

    2)      GoogleAlerts.com– This is an easy and effective tool for your company and the best part?  It’s free!  Sign up your company, service or product name with Google Alerts and you’ll be notified via email if Google finds a match with the key words you want it to find.  Also good for keeping an eye on your competitors.

    3)      Glassdoor.com – This website includes anonymous reviews and ratings of a company written by employees and former employees.  A real eye opener!  

    4)      SocialMentions.com – Enter your brand or product name and it will pull in results from across a series of websites including blogs, social media, etc…  You can sign up for email alerts as well for continued tracking.

    5)      Rankur.com– This site claims to access millions of online blogs, online reviews, news posts, etc.  and provides you with charts, graphs and analysis.  The detail of the analysis depends on how much you want to pay, but they do have a basic analysis that is free.

    With all these options, you have no excuse not to easily track and defend your business’s online reputation.


    Katrina Noble, Media Director

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  • The 5 Types of Design Clients

    On: April 18, 2013
    In: Design
    Views: 851

    Ok, it’s time to be honest. We don’t absolutely love all of our clients… we work with them on a daily basis, but some of them DRIVE US NUTS! Before we start accusing our clients for being difficult to work with, let’s take a step back and ask ourselves why certain clients are the way they are and what we can do on our end to make the experience of working with them a more pleasant one.

    Clients can be classified into 5 main groups:


    How to Identify Them: Usually first-timers when it comes to hiring professional designers.

    How to Deal With Them: Be firm and clear on your intensions and your process.
    Oftentimes it helps these types of clients if you give them instructions and/or a visual –
    give them a timeline so they know when payments are due and when things are
    expected of them.


    How to Identify Them: They love the phrase “Can’t you just…” and always want
    things NOW!

    How to Deal With Them: Give these types of clients a breakdown of everything
    they want done and the stages involved in getting it to the end result. Also, be
    sure to agree on pricing based on the work involved. This will show them that
    everything isn’t as simple as the snap of your fingers and you can avoid conflict
    when it comes to invoicing.


    How to Identify Them: They’re new to the advertising world and have BIG dreams.

    How to Deal With Them: Ask this type of client questions to help sift through the realistic
    and unrealistic goals. If they still have overly ambitious goals, suggest a “Phase 2”.
    Oftentimes clients will see that Phase 2 isn’t necessary because you included the
    necessities in Phase 1.


    How to Identify Them: They know what they want and just need it done.

    How to Deal With Them: We love these clients! They often come prepared with logos,
    content, ect. but will still need something from you – confirmation. Be sure to confirm
    with these types of clients that you understand their requests, what you plan to do
    and by when.


    How to Identify Them: They’re the ones you haven’t heard from in a while.

    How to Deal With Them: These clients are gung-ho at the beginning, but their
    excitement soon fizzles out. If you can’t get a response from your client on projects,
    try setting dates for deadlines and explain what the repercussions are if these
    deadlines aren’t met. If you still aren’t getting results, you may just have to let
    the project die.

    I’m sure you were able to classify some of your clients into each of those categories. I was definitely able to think of a few! Hopefully now though you can apply some of these tips when working with your clients for a more stress-free experience.

    For more information on this topic, please CLICK HERE for the original article.

    Kristen Oaxaca, Graphic Designer

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  • Are you a small business looking to get noticed?

    On: April 15, 2013
    In: Education
    Views: 1095

    Here are 3 easy ways to get some attention for your business.

    1)      Social Media – A lot of people are searching for businesses through their Facebook page so it is important to have a presence there even if you don’t have a website.  Be sure your Facebook page includes your location, hours and any other pertinent information.   Having a website is important, but a Facebook fan page is another way that consumers can find you.

    2)      Get Listed– List your company on Google Places for Businesses.   Like it or not, Google is still the number one search engine so make sure your customers have accurate information on your business. 

    3)      Your Email Signature – add your company, address and contact information to your email signature

    Putting your info on these three items may seem small but can have a big effect.  You never know how people are going to find you so do everything you can to make it easy for them! 

     Katrina Noble, Media Director

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