I might be playing semantics by writing a post about such similar words and topics, but I think it needs to be verbalized. With Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and a plethora of other social media networks it can be difficult to decide which to use and which to discard. Ultimately, only you can decide which networks actual help connect you to your clients, but today I’d like to give you just a few things to think about as you mull over your options.
“Connect with me!” ”I love to connect with my readers via ______fill in appropriate network here_____.”
I’ve said it, you’ve said it, we’ve all typed it and I honestly believe we mean it. I know I do. However, connecting doesn’t necessarily mean contacting. For example, I’ve probably only interacted with about 150 to 200 of my Twitter followers and I interact with an even fewer number on a regular basis. If someone mentions me (@kjtanner) I’m diligent to get back to them. Most of the time I try to reply immediately, unless of course my computer and iPhone are broken at the same time–like they were last week.
I completely enjoy interacting on Twitter, however I am connected with more people than I contact. I see their streams of information and likewise, they see mine. If I see something interesting come across the screen I’m able to click onto it, comment on it, or retweet it. If I want to contact these individuals, they’ve already given me an open pathway for it by allowing me to follow them on Twitter. Twitter sends out the “I may want to talk to you at some point” vibe.
Contacting, on the other hand says, “I want to/need to talk to you soon about a specific thing.” When you contact someone you are taking the time to send out more than 140 characters and you probably don’t want all of Twitterdom to see exactly what you are chatting about. Most of the time contact information can be found somewhere on the person/business’ website. Hopefully it’s easy to find.
I will be honest, though. Many times if the person I am trying to contact is a busy person with a lot of incoming email, I have utilized both email and Twitter to let them know that I’m trying to contact them. This normally looks like sending either a direct message or a mention that says, “By the way, sent you an email.”
How do you connect? Do you think there is a difference between connecting with and contacting someone? How so?
In my parents’ generation, the first point of business contact was usually face to face or at the very least, land-line to land-line. I won’t go so far as to say rotary phone to operator to rotary phone–that was more my grandparents’ generation, lest my parents get annoyed for me commenting about their age. With the advent of the internet and all its wonders, the first point of contact for most businesses and their clients or potential clients is their website which is why you need not just a good website, but a great website. I love this quote from this article,
“Your site speaks volumes about your business. It either says, “Hey, look, we take our business so seriously that we have created this wonderful site for our customers!” or it screams, “Hey, look, I let my 10-year-old nephew design my site. Good luck finding anything!”
That being said, nothing irks me more than finding a business I want to contact because their site screamed the first of the two above statements, not the latter and not being able to find the contact information. Uggh. Does that bother anyone else?
Maybe they found you via your amazing Twitter stream? You posted a link to some awesome new designs that you had just uploaded to the web and it caught their eye so they clicked on it and wham(!) they’re on your site and they want to tell you how awesome your product was, but, dude, they can’t find your contact info. Nothing is more frustrating.
Have no fear, there is hope and in most cases it is an easy fix–just move your contact information so it can be readily accessible and easy to find.
Here’s a quick quiz to see how your website fares in the ‘ease of connection’ realm.
- Do you even have contact information on your website? If not, fix this, numero uno.
- Ask three friends who are fairly internet savvy (as in not your grandmother who only checks her email and plays Mah-Jong) to click onto your website and locate your contact information while they time themselves. Anything more than ten seconds is not optimal. Consider moving your contact information to another location. (This is also applicable for “subscribe via email” and or “follow me” buttons.)
- Are you contact friendly? Words like, “We’re excited to work with you….”, “Looking forward to collaborating with you,” ”We are available,” etc. invite your readers to connect.
How’d your website do?
Wednesday we’ll be back with a discussion on the best way to connect…hope to see you there! If you’d like to connect with us, you can find us on Twitter at @newlifemediame. My twitter account is @kjtanner and Christopher Hopper, the head of the creative department tweets at @find_ch. We’d love to hear what you have to say about connecting online.
Monday morning dawns earlier than expected and long before my slumbery self tells me it’s time to wake up. I pause to see if any of the littles are awake. All is quiet which means I get to steal a few more minutes of peace before they spring to life and morning tasks begin. Although I don’t bounce out of bed, I look forward to Monday mornings.
Monday is a fresh start.
A new week. New goals, new deadlines, new tasks and my favorite….renewed creativity.
By the time Friday rolls around, I’m sapped. By Friday at 3pm, being creative means the difference between McDonald’s or Burger King for dinner. I’ve got nothing.
Do you ever find yourself in that place? Whether you are a businessman, a mom, an entrepreneur, a writer, an artist, or a line cook, there is creativity in your life and when it is gone, well, life can get a little boring. That’s why it’s so important to refresh, rejuvenate, to rest.
Without those three things it’s impossible to look forward to Monday.
Do you look forward to Monday or do you dread it like a dental appointment (okay, maybe that’s only me)?
What steps do you take to allow yourself rest so you can be more creative later?
So we’ve met and chatted and talked and brainstormed about your website. I’ve written up a bunch of copy and collaborated with our designers to design the best possible website for you. Ah, yes. That’s where we were.
Some of you may wonder why does building a website take so long? First of all, most of your website is written in HTML. A computer language. That means that from the colors to the sizes to the fonts all must be coded into the website. Also, any links, meaning that pretty “meet the boss” picture that we formatted for you needs to be manually linked to your “about you” page. This action allows everyone who clicks on it to be redirected to your “about” page. It’s really is worth all the effort.
After all this collaboration, we’ll contact you and tell you that your site is ready for proofing. This is your chance to go through the site and give us feedback. What do you like? What would you like to change? Click through the site and make sure all the links are working. The team on our end will be sure to do this as well, but it’s always best to have a second or a third eye looking around.
As a team we strive to give you an aesthetically pleasing, yet easily navigable website that highlights your company. We’d love to speak with you if you’re interested in this or any of our other services such as social media (Twitter & Facebook) integration, logo design, business card design, banner design and printing, please fill out the contact form and we’ll get back to you shortly!
If you’re just jumping into this series, head on over and read part 1.
So you and I have had our little chats and by now I’ve gotten a feel for your company. Next, I’m going to take your goals and vision for your company and brainstorm how to represent them with words. Many times I accomplish this by brainstorming. I take a piece of paper or a pad of sticky notes and start writing down the words that come to mind when I think about your company. From that pool of words I’ll pull three to five that truly communicate your vision and start copywriting around that handful of language.
In our chats you will have told me what you’re looking for your website to do for you and taking that into consideration I’ll draft the copy for every page of your website. From the landing page which is the first page they come to when they punch in your domain name to the copyright at the bottom of the page.
Once I’ve gotten the main language fleshed out for your site, I’ll start sketching. And when I say sketching, I mean crudely drawing with a Sharpie on paper. I’ll sketch out some ideas for the designers and tell them what we’re thinking for the design. Thankfully, our designers are **amazing** and can take my sketch and turn it into a stellar design. Of course, throughout this process the entire team will be interfacing with one another to execute your site in a way that will exceed your expectations. We don’t want to give you an “ok” website, we want to give you an awesome website.
What is the most memorable website you’ve visited? Why? What made you stay on it longer or come back to it more than once?
Building a website can seem like an inexplicably complicated process, but don’t let yourself be daunted by it. Instead, get a cup of coffee and stay tuned to this little post. I’m going to walk you through the process for the following two reasons: first of all, I don’t want you to forgo building a website because you are afraid of the unknown and secondly, if you’re prepared, then you’ll have some idea of the information we need to start the process.
You want a website, you really, really do. Together with one of our sales directors (Travis, Clarissa, or Kristen) you’ll come up with a general idea of what you’re after. A full web design? Sure. E-commerce site? Absolutely. Social Media integration? We can totally do that. Let’s say for this example that you want a web design. Whichever sales director you’re working with will become your main point of contact. They will follow you throughout this entire process and be a listening ear for ideas and suggestions.
After your initial consult, your director will pass along your information to me, and I’ll have a few meetings with you, either face to face or via Skype depending on our locations. The purpose? I want to get to know you, your company, and your vision. These will take no longer than 1.5 hours normally and most of the time that will be divided between either 3-30 minute sessions or 2-45 minute sessions. Sometimes it takes less time and on the rare occasion, perhaps in the circumstance of a very in depth design, it may take a bit longer.
Once we’re all set, I get to work writing, editing and taking our brief meetings and turning them into a website the world wants to read!
Part 2 will be live on Wednesday!
What questions do you have about building a website?
Your product rocks. It’s amazing. The first of its kind. You are excited about this creation and you want to spend every waking minute honing and perfecting your proverbial ‘baby’. But what about marketing? You have to get the word out there somehow and yellow page ads aren’t exactly what they used to be.
I need to tweet what? Facebook, huh? I have my Facebook, but there’s drama. I don’t want my professional and personal Facebook accounts to mix. And a website? What the heck is a Navbar?
The beauty of this partnership is that while your passion is zeroed in on your product, we take that same amount of passion and apply to designing your logo, website, and marketing strategy because branding, marketing, and design are our proverbial “baby”. When we take on a new project, we treat it like our firstborn. You can bet it’s near and dear to our heart and we only want the best for it. That’s why we’ll have one to two meetings with you over Skype or in person depending on your location to brainstorm about your vision and how we can best represent that.
We’re all about passion, here at New Life Media. If we’re going to do something, we’re going to do it with exuberance, gusto, and we’ll have fun too. When you partner with us you can focus on your dream and we’ll focus on how you can tell the most people about your dream.
I’ll tell you my dream if you’ll tell us yours. My dream is to publish a young adult fiction novel. I have about 1,000 words written to date. What’s your dream? What’s your passion?
You can follow us on Twitter @newlifemediame
If I posted a vlog of me right now, you’d see a brown-haired girl waving at you somewhat maniacally. Hence why I didn’t embed a vlog to welcome you here to the New Life Media blog.
In case you’re unfamiliar with us, we’re a media company that specializes in making you look awesome and get noticed. Who doesn’t want that, right? I thought so. We’re a relatively easy lot to contact and we’re stoked about bringing your ideas to the table and forging them with the ideas of our genius creative team to make what can only be described as a memorable impact.
Before I go any further, though, I’m sure you’re curious as to who exactly is writing this little blog, eh? Well, you can call me Kristina. Actually, everyone calls me Kristina, except for my kids. They call me ‘mom’ or ‘hey, you.’ I’ve even been known to answer to, “Can I please have some juice?” I’m the writer here at New Life Media. I also interface with companies to cook up the best possible way to linguistically represent your company; in short, I play with words. All.day.long. And I love it. I’ve got a background in American Sign Language which ties in perfectly with my word-nerdiness and I have a penchant for all things literary, especially YA fiction. I’ve been writing and manipulating words ever since I can remember and that’s the main reason writing at NLM is such a great fit.
So that’s me.
Next week, you’ll get to meet another fab member of our team.
So here’s my question for the day…what do people call you and why? Nicknames anyone?
While the old adage is certainly right in the essence of it’s motive, it doesn’t mean that the customer is always actually right. This is particularly true in web design.
Often a client has a particular look or function in mind when day-dreaming about what their new website should look like. And that’s fabulous. We believe the only bad ideas are those we don’t bring up and discuss; everything has merit. But sometimes those idealistic concepts are rooted in outdated architecture or bad design.
People don’t hire us to appease their wants; they hire us to tell them the truth and increase their bottom line. As such, it’s our job to burst some of those bubbles, but in the hopes of creating a bigger, more stunning bubble that’s burst-proof.
Allowing professionals to coach through the process of analysis, not just creation, is key to landing on the best possible solutions for a project. And we couldn’t have said it any better than Corey Eridon in his recent article 15 Things People Absolutely Hate About Your Website. While we’re always here for clients that want a customized experience, following Corey’s roadmap will go a long way in developing your own site with excellence in mind.