Creative Industry Related Information for Graphic Designers & Web Designers!

I am having trouble getting freelance work. I am new at this and could use some advice.

Posted: April 23rd, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Articles | Tags: , , , | No Comments »
web design jobs

Here is what I suggest. First you must have a portfolio of your samples. If you do, then look for temp agencies to show your portfolio. These temp agencies help find production and design jobs in large and small corporations and companies. For example, when I first moved to Dallas, I looked up a company called Art Squad. They found me a job in less than 2 weeks as a freelance designer for Blue Cross. I use Art Squad anytime work is slow. They always have some type of work, whether good or bad, but it all pays the bills. I have listed below a few places you should look into to help you find temp to full-time work.

Freelance job places:
http://www.creativegroup.com/
http://www.aquent.com/

Career building article and links:
http://www.sessions.edu/career_center


Job Search

Posted: April 23rd, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Articles | Tags: , , | No Comments »
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How to effectively build a working day on remote work with family and children at home.

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6 Print Marketing Ideas to Promote Your Small Business

Posted: July 1st, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Articles | No Comments »

Nowadays, when digital marketing is a must, you shouldn’t neglect the power and effectiveness of more traditional marketing tactics.

Print marketing is one of them, and it’s still highly relevant.

If you’re wondering how this kind of promotion can help you grow your business, it’s worth mentioning that 56% of customers believe that print marketing is the most trustworthy type of marketing.

While online ads and email marketing are great strategies which will definitely help you stay on your prospects’ radar, print marketing has another quality which will improve your brand awareness and make it more memorable in the eyes of your audience – it’s tangible.

Unlike online promotional materials which are in a way ephemeral and available only on mobile and computer screens, print media items stick around homes and offices for days or even months, thus having a longer impact.

Here are a couple of print marketing ideas that you can leverage.

1. Business Cards

Despite the fact that people have their smartphones with them at all times, and that they can easily memorize phone numbers or start following businesses on social media, business cards will never go out of fashion.

They’re excellent for traditional, person-to-person networking.

You can hand them out at expos, trade shows, meetups, or any other industry event you attend. You can also leave them on the counter in your store or give a bunch to your friends and family so that they can promote your business within their networks.

Business cards help you establish both a mental and visual link with your prospects. Given that these wallet-sized pieces of paper give you a chance to make a great first impression, it’s crucial to make sure to opt for a quality, visually appealing design which will present your business in the best possible light.

Remember that 72% of people will judge your company based on the quality of your business cards.

2. Postcards

Postcards are a pretty convenient medium for conveying your promotional message.  They can be read without opening and turning pages, so that you can be almost absolutely sure that your prospects will at least have a glance at them even if they decide to throw them away.

Again, aesthetics play an important role, which means your postcards have to be eye-catching and printed on high-quality materials if you want them to stand out from all the other direct mail your prospects receive.

You can score additional brownie points if you decide to send birthday and holiday postcards to your customers, as this practice is a great way to build an emotional bond with them.

3. Branded Merchandise

People love freebies especially if they’re functional and attractive.

That’s what makes pens, thumb drives, phone chargers, or tote bags with your logo on them great for marketing purposes. Your customers will be happy to use them every day, which means your brand becomes a part of their daily routine.

This is a great example of subtle and nonintrusive brand repetition – your customers promote your brand simply by using the pen you gave them, and by circulating around this small item reaches a lot of people and spreads brand awareness.

Similarly, you can use digital printing to customize your branded T-shirts and turn your customers into your walking advertisements.

4. Flags, Signs, and Banners

All brick-and-mortar stores need proper signage.

This means that your business will greatly benefit from custom flags, signs, and banners that you can put both in your store as well as in front of it.

It’s equally important to take advantage of these promotional materials to distinguish your company from your competitors at different trade fairs.

As these events tend to be crowded, it can be hard to stand out.

Printed banners are an essential element of any successful trade show marketing strategy, which is why you need to include them in your trade show kit.

A well-designed display will turn heads and attract visitors to your booth as well as reflect the identity of your brand.

5. Stickers

Although seemingly obsolete, this old school marketing tactic has great potential for promoting your small business.

If you look around, you’ll actually see a lot of stickers on car bumpers, laptops, windows, phones, and any other place you can think of.

Politicians have been using them for decades to promote themselves and attract supporters.

Popular brands, such as Apple, give away branded stickers with every item they sell.

The best part is that this tactic is very affordable, cost-effective, and sticky – these promotional items generate long-term brand exposure.

Besides, you can use stickers as part of a guerrilla marketing campaign and place them on signs, poles, bus stops, and other public spaces – this is a strategy that helped Alexis Ohanian, Reddit co-founder, promote the social news aggregation website on a budget.

According to him, the company only spent $500 on marketing, and a big portion of that money was used on stickers.

6.  Catalogs

You probably wonder why we are suggesting physical catalogs in the age of Amazon and digital promotions.

Just like business cards, these colorful booklets are still here and they won’t go away soon, because they deliver a unique, rich, and most importantly, tactile customer experience. There’s something irresistible about flipping through glossy, crisp pages of the latest product catalog from your favorite store.

For example, IKEA is still big on the idea of print catalogs – more than 210 million copies are delivered to their prospects in 44 different countries. And this strategy apparently works, as the Swedish furniture giant invests in this strategy despite the fact that the online version is available too.

To make the most of your investment in this strategy, combine it with customer data and target customers who are likely to spend more. Another reason for the persistent success of catalogs is that they offer a more intimate customer experience. 

These traditional print marketing ideas can help you cut through the noise more easily and outperform your competitors who rely mainly on digital strategies. By combining online and physical marketing, you can expand your reach and make sure that your message is properly conveyed and heard by every segment of your audience. Michael Deane is one of the editors of Qeedle, a small business magazine. When not blogging (or working), he can usually be spotted on the track, doing his laps, or with his nose deep in the latest John Grisham.


Designer Challenges Himself To Create A Typographic Logo Every Day For A Year, And They’re Pretty Cool

Posted: April 21st, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Articles | No Comments »

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These people aren’t real. Can you tell?

Posted: April 21st, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Articles | No Comments »

The image above looks like a collage of photographs, but in fact, it’s been generated by an artificial intelligence. And as real as they may look, the people in the image aren’t actual humans. 

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What Firing A Comedian For Old Jokes Is Like

Posted: April 21st, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Articles | No Comments »

Graphic Design Memes

Posted: April 21st, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Articles | No Comments »

This will make you laugh, cry and just hate your clients!

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Stock images – do you want cheese with that?

Posted: April 21st, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Articles | No Comments »

The quality of stock images just sucks more and more and more and more!!!!!

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How to boost your online store to the top: 5 methods

Posted: June 4th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Articles, Business, Design | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Venturing into the world of e-commerce? If you’re looking to become a driving force within your chosen market, it’s important you know how to do it. With so many people fighting to claim the top spot, these five tried and tested tips will ensure you’re ahead of the pack and growing exponentially and continuously, ensuring success for the future.

Have a good level of customer service

One of the best ways to attract new customers whilst keeping existing ones around is by ensuring you upkeep a great level of customer service. It’s the most important part of any business – if you’re offering constant communication and customer service, you’ll be ensuring you build those valuable consumer relationships which will keep your business thriving.

Ensure you have an easy, straightforward way for customers to get in touch in regard to products and services they may have queries about. A phone call is regularly said to be the most effective form of communication, building trust and relationships between businesses and customers – but an email is a good choice if a phone line isn’t feasible. So long as you’re able to communicate clearly with customers and establish yourselves as a reliable company, you’ll keep people coming back.

Ensure you’ve got the right hosting

First things first – you need to make sure you’re choosing the right level of hosting to suit your future goals. Are you looking to remain relatively niche, with a limited outreach that remains consistent? Or, do you want to keep getting bigger and bigger, with no limit in sight? If you’re reading this post, it’s likely the latter.

And so, with that being said, you need to consider which hosting provider to opt for. There are plenty out there to choose from, and it all comes down to your personal desires – should you want to grow exponentially, a dedicated server may be your best bet. Although it’s more expensive than a shared server, having your very own dedicated platform reduces the risk of overloading due to increased traffic, which could end up with significant downtime upon your site and effectively making customers look elsewhere.

Design your site to look appealing

Another way to grow your site and establish yourself as a worthwhile company is by ensuring your design is forward-thinking and easy to navigate, whilst also being visually appealing. Consider the appearance of your competitors and the frontrunners in your market – although it’s good to stand alone and excel from the crowd, you need to understand just what makes your neighbours so successful.

Flat, clean designs are all the rage on the internet currently, so consider stripping it back and letting your products do the talking – you’ll be sure to reap the benefits. Minimalism is in, and combined with responsive design you’ll undoubtedly get the best results.

Also be sure to remove any elements of your design that could harm your ranking—everything from the wrong header tags to intrusive pop-ups could lead to penalisation.

Employ “niche marketing”

There’s a difference between a niche market and niche marketing, and you need to be aiming for the latter. Where a niche market will limit you in terms of potential customers, as there’s less of a demand for the products you’ll be selling, niche marketing will have a completely opposite effect.

Niche marketing basically means you’ll be finding your own space in a market that is perhaps oversaturated with the same own. Stand out from the crowd and offer something new, and you’ll attract customers who are looking for the next big thing.

Make sure your site is secure

Another way to ensure your store doesn’t suffer any setbacks is by having a sufficient level of security to protect it. Attacks such as SQL injections are common upon online stores, and with the risk of things such as sensitive information being leaked, it’s important you’re doing all you can to prevent it.

If you do suffer any security breaches or attacks, it’s likely your customers will begin to look elsewhere as a result. Be sure to prevent anything that could prove to be detrimental to your success.


4 Elements Your Website Needs so You Can Land High-Paying Clients

Posted: May 29th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Articles, Business, Design | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

There are elements that make the best websites tick.

“How do they acquire and convert high-paying clients consistently?”

“What do these websites have that we don’t?”

These are the questions those who barely get any sales out of their website often ask.

In this article, we aim to uncover some of those reasons.

Surprisingly, some of them are easily overlooked and are just considered normal elements of a website when in fact they can be the difference between a successful sale and lost one.

The Basics

Before we talk about the elements, we must make sure that the basics are in place. By basics, we mean good on-page search engine optimization (SEO).

To name a few, good-on page SEO consists of good site architecture, a good keyword strategy, and a better than normal website loading speed.

Out of the three, a lot have hiccups on the site speed factor, especially on mobile. According to Google, the benchmark for website loading speed on mobile is three seconds.

If your website takes longer than three seconds to load, you might want to consider optimizing your loading speed.

Using a CDN can help speed up the delivery of your webpage content to your users.

You can also minify your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript codes.

Good on-page SEO equals a usable and reliable website for your visitors to use. A usable and reliable website is the foundation that goes hand-in-hand with the elements below.

1. Social Proof

Robert Cialdini, the author of the book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, said that when people are uncertain, they tend to look at the actions and behaviors of others to determine their own.

We are more complacent to purchase something if it is used or endorsed by an influencer or accepted by society.

In a nutshell, social proof is something like this – “others say that this brand is awesome, so… this brand must be awesome”.

Think about it. We would be compelled to buy something from Amazon if it is rated five stars and has a lot of positive reviews.

There are different kinds of social proof depending on your industry and website. Moreover, some are more applicable for Business-to-Consumer (B2C) companies while some are leaning towards Business-to-Business (B2B) ones.

For those in the B2C space, social proof you can use on your website can be social media in the form of Facebook posts or tweets from customers.

On the other hand, B2B companies can leverage on testimonials from past and current clients to persuade future ones.

(Zoho, a CRM platform shows testimonials from brands that use their platform.)

Showcasing your client’s logos or media publications where you are mentioned in on your homepage is another good social proof for B2Bs. These are also known as trust icons.

(Salesforce, another CRM platform, showcases the brands that use their platform.)

2. Blog Platform

A blog can help build your brand’s thought leadership and expertise in the industry by providing relevant, informative, and useful content to your customers or clients.

When we see a brand publish noteworthy content on their blog, we consider them authoritative and competent on what they’re doing.

The content you publish in blogs helps nurture your customers as they go through the customer journey.

For example, you can publish blog posts aimed at generating awareness for your product or service.

On the other hand, you can also craft content that aims to remove doubt and last-minute questions to help your customers reach a purchasing decision.

Other than building thought leadership and lead nurturing, a blog is also a useful repository where you can store content that can help your website get found easier with Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

3. Consistent Call-to-action

The best websites are designed to have one end-goal or conversion in mind. Those conversions can be a sale or a sign-up on a lead generation form. These conversions depend on your industry, website, and whether you’re B2B or B2C.

For example, if you are a B2B website, your conversion can be a lead. Of course, the occasional inquiries that directly lead to a sale is good. But most of these big-ticket clients needs some nurturing before they buy.

If your aim is to generate leads, your website’s call-to-action and the copy must be consistent all throughout. Every page must be designed to lead to that end-goal.

(Ahrefs, a tool for marketers, communicates one call-to-action on their homepage.)

Some websites forget about these end-goals and add other call-to-actions or generate copy that makes the visitor ask “what do you want me to do?” or “where do you want me to click?”.

Or even worse, some websites even forget to add a call-to-action that often leads to a visitor leaving with no meaningful interactions with the website.

4. Lead Generation Mechanism

If a visitor lands on your website, lucky you! He or she chose your website instead of the countless others. But the challenge now is how to transform the visitor from a visitor to a paying consumer or client.

Not all visitors will convert on the spot, and this applies to both B2C and B2B companies. That’s a reality we all have to accept.

The visitor is interested in your product or service but there are a lot of factors that can influence his or her purchase like lack of money or lack of time to make the purchase itself.

You don’t want that interest to die down now that he or she is aware of your product or service, don’t you? Remember, awareness is hard to come by nowadays.

A useful element to add to a website that helps keep leads interested are lead generation forms. These forms are where visitors can opt-in in exchange for something of value like an ebook or a free trial of a software.

(FreshBooks provides a lead gen form where visitors can opt-in in exchange for a free trial.)

A lead generation form typically subscribes the visitor to an email newsletter. Email newsletters help your visitors navigate through the consumer journey by sending our targeted and well-timed emails depending on where they are on the journey.

For B2B companies, programmed emails help prospective clients learn more about the product or service on the awareness phase. This also helps them keep interested in the product or service.

On the flip side, sending an email that encourages your clients to renew a trial or consult with you if you are offering a service is effective in the consideration phase.

Conclusion

The four elements, when done and integrated right, can be powerful tools to increase and retain your customers and client base.

Found this article helpful? Help others learn more about these four elements by sharing this article.