This morning I opened up an email with the subject line Audition
The email says:
Hey there, We are holding open auditions Feb13th. we want you to do any performance piece you would like. We want the actors to put their stamp on the characters so we really want to see you personality. I would love to have you come that day. The auditions will be held Sat Feb 13…..in San Francisco……Thanks for your time and I hope to see you Joseph
Typos aside, When I did a quick search for the project on the actors list I suspect it came from, I couldn’t find a website or any information for the production company. It’s probably not a scam, but it looks flakey, I really don’t want to drive to San Francisco to be annoyed by some non professional BS. I think a website, even if it was bad, would increase the chances of me taking them seriously.
A case study:
Joe and Margie (not their real names) are Therapists. Margie asked me to update her business website, make it pretty and play well with cell phones and tablets. We worked on a cool new wordpress website for her so that people can contact her easily and get quick information on what she offers.
Margie also has a free blog at wordpress.com The truth is, her blog is probably the best option for getting website traffic and we want Margie to benefit from her hard work So, I made the free blog link to her website. It should get people to look at her other webpages. She should be spreading the word about her blog on social media. .
Margie tells me that her husband, Joe has his own website, which needs serious work. She and Joe want to send out a newsletter. He is resistant to fixing his website, mostly, because they live in a small community, and their “audience” is small. However, a website and a newsletter should be enriching your appeal to your customers, present and potential. If you are going to do the work, which is time consuming you should make sure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck.
It’s hard to say what Joe’s website makes people think about Joe. Is Joe confusing and not up to date? maybe. I would guess people spend little time at his website. You need to get them to care.
So what does a website do?
A website is your public resume for your business. You do want people to get a good impression don’t you? An artist once scoffed at me and said, “I don’t need a website, nobody buys art from a website.” That’s completely true, my personal website is a portfolio only.
and then Social media….:
The more social media you do the more you can grow and maintain your business. Do Facebook if nothing else and post something to it when you can. I recommend LinkedIn if you are actively looking for work/clients. If you blog make sure you forward that to facebook and linkedin.
What about SEO?
Search engine optimization without interacting with social media won’t really help you get people to visit your website. Linking a blog, podcast, video or from email is what will make your website worthwhile. I am sure the only people who goes to Joes website are those who want to verify him. Joes website does not ask people to do anything. It merely gives some information that is hard to find. In fact, it doesn’t show up in google as a clinic in that small town. AND, when I checked google I did not get his wifes website either, OOOPSS. I had just built her website, I was falling down on the job. I jumped in and worked on that right away. I’ll have to check it frequently to see if their google improves.
I do take Google seriously, because people will look for peoples names and business names. Google is showing very well for Margies name. I discovered her business address is wrong in google and shows “closed” I will ask her to fix this, easy easy. or do it for her if she needs my help.
What about a newsletter? Email?
I think it’s a great idea, but time consuming. Margie is working on building a list for her newsletter. She should consider finding at least a few hundred solid people to send it out to initially. And work hard on growing it with QUALIFIED names. After all, we are not selling therapy to the world. She should grow her list as big as she can with the right people. Also, that email should push people to her blog and to the websites, get em hooked.
I think you can see why a good website and some sort of on-going material is useful for any business no matter how small. If you have questions let me know. I help clients build the right web presence in their budget with websites, social media, podcasts and video.
Brooke Bradford is a broadcasting veteran who lives in Santa Cruz California. She is a multimedia consultant and an audio and video producer. She has produced hundreds of podcasts, radio shows, video programs and creates motion media and art for the web.
If you are an entrepreneur or business person you probably already know you need a website, Facebook account and LinkedIN. An excellent idea to get started on your business is to build a style sheet, if you’ve already started marketing your business a formal style will be a shot in the arm for your marketing and for your personal organization.
Your style sheet is like what the golden arches is to McDonalds. McDonalds uses the same Gold on every sign, the same curve on every sign, the same font on every sign, menu, website and so on and so forth. I think you get the idea. While you don’t need a freaky clown to brand yourself, well…you might, a consistent identity is really really important to keeping you on track and making your promotions work.
I just saw an ad on a freelance job site for someone to finish a word press website. The person, an author said the designer he had hired had not finished. This is a Red flag for me, Why didn’t they finish? Was the client a pain? Did they want a lot of nothing? What was built into the website? it might be scary. When I look at his website the answer becomes painfully clear. At the top is a cheap, amateur looking graphic, which he says he hates and there are pink links on a pinkish back ground. There is a link on the bottom of the page to a designer “firm” that has under construction on the home page. There is no excuse for a web “firm” not to have a website.
A style sheet stops most of this type of error. First, take a look at a web color tool like the Adobe Color Wheel.
Decide what colors your brand will. Make sure it stays the same on everything. Mailers, Facebook, your logo…everything! Make sure you record the RGB and HEX codes for those colors. While you are at it, grab the CMYK codes as well for when you send stuff to the printer. This will save you a lot of headaches. You can have variants of hues and shades of one color (monochromatic) or colors that work together (complimentary) for the feeling you want. Find the feeling baby! Gothic? Juvenile? Business? Give it a try. you can always change your mind, that’s what testing is for.
Choose some fonts and stick with ‘em for web and print. A pretty display font is nice for headlines and stuff, you need to make sure that the text is easy to read and that different fonts match. I like font squirrel for help selecting and adding fonts to websites.
Don’t go crazy. Add the names of your display font and the codes to your color to a document you named: Style sheet. You can and should specify font sizes on your style sheet and specify when they should be used.
Last, get some Sort of logo. I don’t have any great idea on how to go about this except use someone who has good taste and some artist talent, maybe it’s you. To avoid resolution problems it might be nice to use illustrator or very high quality Photoshop. I made THAT mistake on my logo. It can’t be much bigger than a thumbnail. I like it so much I stick with it, someday I might change it. Don’t be like me, do it right the first time. Some logos are only letters. Work on creating the logo and not rush it. Try the colors out on various different “thought” images. When it comes together add the logo to the style sheet and make some rules about whether or not is can be black and white or reversed colors.
Now you can use this info on social media! Everything matches! Whooo! The project comes back from the printer with the right colors!
Then sit back and look at it. At some point you may outgrow it, it might go out of style or your needs change. Just like Mcdonalds. Happy designing!
Brooke Bradford is a veteran radio producer who lives in Santa Cruz California. She is a multimedia consultant and audio and video producer. She has produced hundreds of podcasts and edits audio for Audvisor.com