We’ve all heard the advice that every business these days needs a website; if nothing else but as a digital business card that tells people how to contact you. But if all your website does is tell people what you do and how they can contact you, you’re missing out.
Your website can (and should be) your online sales office. It can do much more than simply tell people who you are, it can start potential clients on the journey to becoming a customer. It can also turn people off-in the same way a rude sales assistant may put off a customer, a badly designed website may make people assume what you do isn’t high quality, either.
In this article, we’ll guide you through what you need to do to make your website do some of the hard work for you and start winning you clients. While we’re going to be using examples for homebuilders in this article, the principles apply to any business.
3 Tips to Ensure Your Website Works for You (Not Against You)
1. Make Sure Everything is Up-to-Date
Don’t skip over this point! You may think you keep everything up-to-date on your website, but do you really? Does it take you a week or two to make changes?There’s a difference between making updating your website a priority when something changes and getting around to it in the next week or so.
Remember that your website is a sales office that’s open 24/7-that’s powerful, but that also means you can’t afford to put off simple updates. When you sell a lot in anew community, make sure you update your website as soon as possible or you may end up with disappointed potential customers.
Similarly, if the pricing of something changes, get it updated ASAP. Whether someone’s looking to buy a home or a coffee table, they’ll have a budget in mind that may not be flexible. If they ask about a home that has increased in price and they can’t afford it, they’re at best going to feel annoyed and embarrassed at worst.
2. Be User-Friendly
The user experience (UX) your website offers will directly impact how a website visitor thinks about your company. If your user interface (UI) is clunky and outdated or they can’t find the information they’re looking for, they’ll think your business operates the same way. Remember, first impressions matter, and that goes online as well as off.
If you’re not sure how your website is performing when it comes to UX or UI, or you are aware it doesn’t match the outstanding customer experience your company offers, we can help. We’re experts in UX and UI design and can ensure your website gives users the seamless experience they’re looking for. (Click here to find out more.)
3. Be Upfront with the Information You Provide
Try to provide as much information as you can on your website that will help a potential customer decide whether or not they’re interested in buying from you. This is not about telling them everything all in one go (which can be overwhelming), but thinking strategically about the questions and answers your clients typically have before they buy from you.
If you are constantly getting emails about the same things, it may be information worth making available on your site. What you don’t want to do is make people feel like you’re only withholding information to get them to contact you. For example, withholding a price for properties you’re selling and asking people to reach out to find out.
If you don’t want to put a single guide price, put a range. Suggesting that a property of their desired type either starts at $350,000 or ranges from $350,000-$450,000 will give people the information they need to decide whether or not they are in a position to buy. Adding information like this also shows you have nothing to hide, which will make you more trustworthy.
There are a lot of factors that go into ensuring your website is the ideal 24/7 online sales office, but if you get these 3 right, you’ll find your website creates more leads and helps potential customers trust you well before they ever make contact with you.If you need a little extra help getting your website to that point, we’d be glad to help.
If you’ve read a business article, watched a video made by a creative, or spoken to anyone with a business in the last few years, you’ll know about the importance of branding. The online world means there is more competition than ever, and branding is no longer just something for large corporations to think about; it’s relevant for everyone.
But what is branding when it comes to an individual or small business? Let’s find out.
What is personal branding?
Branding is a wide umbrella under which falls things like color schemes, web design, logos, language, personality, and values. To most, branding is something reserved for a product, company, or association. We think of the famous golden arches of McDonald’s and the white Apple logo with its sleek, minimalistic product and website design.
But if you’re a service provider or a creative, you need branding, too! Creating a personal brand strengthens your business by making it clear that you’re the go-to person in your realm. Your brand as a musician, content creator, or small business owner declares who you are and what customers can expect from you.
4 Reasons Why Personal Branding Can Help Your Business
- It builds consistency which cultivates trust. When a client knows exactly what to expect from your business, they’re more likely to trust you with their custom again and again. Your branding ensures they know what to expect from you – whether that’s motivational speeches or high-quality modern furniture design.
- It helps you stand out from your competitors in a saturated market. Since so much of any business’s presence is represented online these days, you need to stand out from the competition – which is often global. Imagine you are trying to choose between two interior designers; would you contact the one whose website is just a portfolio and you don’t know anything about them other than their name, or the designer who is always friendly and available to answer questions on social media? Almost certainly the latter.
- It shows your authenticity. A person or company that consistently projects the same aesthetic and values comes across as more genuine and legitimate. This ties in with the first point as it works to develop a trusting network of clients and peers. Your personal brand can be more honest and open than a company’s brand, meaning you may share personal stories as a way to connect with your customers.
- It leads to better networking and more business generation. Business is inherently competitive, but by establishing a clear personal brand, you can make yourself seen in a way unique to you. Many of your peers may be as educated and experienced as you, but if you’re the person putting yourself out there as an authority in your industry, people will be drawn to you over them.
How do you create a personal brand?
Creating a personal brand shouldn’t be much different than creating one for your business – and indeed, most of the time they may be the same. Your business may be named after you or you may simply represent it. Regardless, your personal brand gives people a face and an anchor point. It’s much easier to know, like, and trust someone than it is a faceless brand.
Ultimately, creating a personal brand is all about demonstrating who you are and why you’re the best person for the job. Prospective clients want to know who you are, so it’s always a good idea to be authentic and honest about what you stand for.
Is it time to give your brand a refresh?
It’s the start of a brand new year, so now is a great time to consider rebranding or updating your current brand. If you need a little help in the branding department, Pixel Parfait has got you covered! We can assist you with branding creation, social media management, blogging, and email marketing, so why not schedule a free consultation today?
Thinking about how to plan your 2023 marketing strategy? The good news is thinking about your marketing now will set you up for success in the coming year, but we know it can be time-consuming and overwhelming for many small businesses. Today, we’re going to share some of our top tips and best practices so you can go into 2023 feeling confident about your marketing plan.
How to Plan Your 2023 Marketing Strategy
1. Plan in advance
We know, that’s what you’re trying to do now, but we mean you need to be specific.It’s all too common to create an overarching plan in the early months of the year, only to never look at it again or just use it as a vague guide.
Make sure you get specific about your plans. If you’re going to run a huge BlackFriday sale, start putting concrete plans in place 1-6 months beforehand. Even small sales should be planned a month ahead so you’ve got time to create assets, streamline processes, and get your audience excited about it.
2. Have a clear brand
Your marketing has to stand on the foundation of your brand, and we’re not just talking about the colors of your logo here. Your fonts, colors, tone of voice, and more need to be aligned and consistent in all your marketing efforts. (Learn more about what branding you need here.)
If your branding isn’t cohesive, prospective customers will get the impression that you don’t know what you’re doing, or you may even end up turning off your ideal customer. Review your branding now and consider if you need to do a brand overhaul before 2023 starts in earnest. (If you need help defining your branding, we can help.)
3. Set SMART goals
Set goals for your marketing and make them SMART-that’s Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. When you’re setting goals for the year ahead, for the quarter, or for a single campaign, make sure your goals meet these criteria. For example, instead of “increase sales”, your goal should look more like,“increase sales by 10% in Q1 and Q2 of 2023.
4. Set a budget
Do you set a clear budget for marketing campaigns and advertising? It’s all too easy for small businesses to tweak their budget up or down depending on how the business’s finances are doing, but to determine if a marketing campaign is really working, you need to be consistent. Stick to your budget unless you have a really good reason not to (such as you realize you set the budget too low or an ad is working well and you want to try scaling it up).
Whether you’re the only team member or you’ve got a team of 100, there’s no reason any one person should be doing all the work. If you’re doing all the marketing, make sure you’re not becoming overwhelmed and starting to drop some of the balls you’re juggling. Outsourcing is a great way to get small jobs done without the expense of a full-time hire.
January is a great time to reassess where you are so you can move forward with confidence. Whether your brand needs some work, your website needs an overhaul, or you need some support with your marketing, Pixel Parfait is here to help. To find out more or to contact us for a free consultation, click here.
It’s that time of year when we reflect on all the things we’re thankful for and this year(like every year!) we’re incredibly thankful for our marketing partners. We’re fortunate to have cultivated a group of marketing partners that are great to work with and value the same best practices and ethics we do. So, what are the things we value most? Let’s gush a little more.
5 Things We Value in Our Marketing Partners
1) Staying on Top of Their Industry & Technology
We love businesses that don’t accept “good enough,” but instead strive to stay at the forefront of their industry and aren’t afraid to experiment with new ideas to lead the pack. They don’t let the necessities slip; they keep their website and social media profiles up-to-date and are running their own race, not simply trying to keep up with their competition.
2) They Value Social Media Management
We adore businesses that understand the value of social media management and the power consistency and connection on social media platforms can have for their businesses. Our marketing partners understand that social media management isn’t just about freeing up their time but putting their social media presence in the hands of experts. (Find out more about how social media management can add value to your business here.)
3) They Value Their Website
Our marketing partners understand that their website isn’t just an online placeholder or business card; they understand that their website is their online home and can be a powerful tool for capturing new leads and connecting with clients. They keep their website up-to-date and ensure it always accurately represents their company so clients feel confident when they work with them.
(If you haven’t recently reviewed your website, make sure you’re not making any of these 5 scary mistakes!)
4) They Value Good Branding
We value businesses that understand the power of good branding and in using their branding across all channels. They have a defined color palette and 3 or so chosen fonts and they use them everywhere. They understand that being instantly recognizable to customers breeds trust and so they won’t settle for an off-brand image, color, or font on any medium. They review their branding regularly to check that it’s still aligned with their goals and the customers they want to serve.
(What branding do you really need? Find out here.)
5) They Share Our Values
Our marketing partners share our values and ethics, which makes us the perfect match for working with one another. They understand that without integrity, they won’t develop a long-standing and faithful customer base, and without honesty, there will always be a level of disconnect between them and their clients.They value humility and don’t blow their own horn without numerous successes that show why they’re one of the top businesses in their industry. Our marketing partners are people-first businesses, valuing their employees, partners, and customers, and truly care about their well-being.
(Want to learn more about us? Click here.)
Our marketing partners make it a pleasure to get up every day and come to work for these reasons and for that, we’d like to say thank you! We truly value you and we look forward to continuing to work with you in the future. If you are not yet one of our marketing partners and are worried you don’t yet meet these values, don’t be! That’s exactly what we’re here for. You can find out more about us and schedule a free consultation here.
Before you started your business, did you have an accurate idea of how much work it would be? Most small business owners knew it would be hard work, but didn’t realize quite how many hats they’d need to wear! From the salesperson to bookkeeper to social media manager, you’ve done it all.
Fortunately, you don’t have to do it all alone, and one of the best tasks to stop managing yourself is your social media. Social media management allows you to offload the time-consuming yet essential task of managing your social media accounts so you can focus on what you do best.
Our social media management services have been helping businesses like yours engage with their audience and reach new customers for years, but now we’ve made things even easier with our Pixel Portal.
What is the Pixel Portal?
Pixel Portal allows you to work with us for your social media management needs in a way that’s easier than ever before. Pixel Portal provides a platform where you can work with the Pixel Parfait team to take social media off your to-do list and start making more of an impact on your audience.
The Pixel Portal gives you full access to easy automatic scheduling, analytics reports, one-click approvals, and more, depending on your chosen package.
Pixel Portal Packages
We offer three levels of social media management packages through the Pixel Portal; Self-Serve, Mini, and Pixel Perfect.
Our Self-Serve package is best for those who still want to be in control. This package would be perfect for the small-medium size business that has a social media manager in-house. Whether that Social media manager is yourself or someone on your team, this package provides a better way to manage multiple accounts without the need to log in and out over-and over to get your posts out each day. Plus, with our strategy call add-ons our team of experts will help you develop and manage a goal driven social media strategy that works for you and your business. This package facilitates your ability to organize your posts, schedule and post to your feeds, and see your metrics all within the Portal.
The Self-Serve package includes:
- Unlimited access to Pixel Portal for up to 3 users
- Full analytics reports through the Portal
- Content library for posts
- Automatic scheduling for 3 business accounts (add additional accounts for just $5 per month)
- Online support team as needed
- (Optional Add On) Strategy Calls – Our Social Media Pros would love to help you stay on track to success with a virtual strategy call. These calls can be added anytime and will be packed with tips, tricks and professional counseling to help you or your team manage your social platforms with strategy and purpose.
Our Mini package is best for those looking to have social media taken off their to-do list but still want the control of being a part of the planning process and enjoys being able to approve all posts with an easy 1 click process. The Mini package takes all the guesswork out of creating content, so all you need to do is work with the Pixel Parfait team to supply product/business-specific photos, approve our posts, and check your metrics to see your increased engagement. The Mini package includes the Self-Serve benefits, plus:
- 3 feed posts per week (12 per month)
- Copywriting and basic hashtags for each post
- 1 round of edits
- 1-click approvals through the Portal
- Automatic scheduling for 3 business accounts
- Monthly email planning with us, your social media unicorns!
- (Optional Add On) Photography – need help with getting good quality photos of your product, business, or team members? Clients local to the Prescott, AZ area can take advantage of this add-on for a photography session where we will capture content for up to 6 months in just 1 day!
Our Pixel Perfect package provides the ultimate level of support and management services. This package is best for those who are serious about their social media presence and want to allow our team to drive the process of developing custom creative content for their business. You get all the benefits of the Self Serve & Mini package with even more content creation and support from our team.
The Pixel Perfect package includes:
- 5 feed posts a week designed and posted (20 per month)
- 3 story posts per week – includes 1 video or reel per week (12 per month)
- 4 IG reels per month, also shared to your IG story
- Up to 2 extra special posts a month (for holidays and events)
- Copywriting and full hashtag strategy for each post
- 1-click approvals
- Posted to all eligible business social media accounts
- Unlimited Portal access for full social media management and reporting
- Dedicated online support team
- Optional monthly strategy calls with your Pixel Parfait Team of experts
- Monthly emails for planning and executing your custom marketing plan
Ready to see the Pixel Portal for yourself? Contact us today to schedule your free walkthrough to set your social media accounts on the path to success.
Most people start thinking of branding as a logo and color palette, but just a little research will reveal that it’s much more than that. There are dozens of elements you may need while doing business, and while you can start a business with just a few brand elements, you need a full brand guide if you want to grow.
Why do I need a full brand guide?
You set your brand standards for anyone working with you
A full brand guide (also sometimes called a brand book or style guide) is an essential tool for your business, as it allows anyone working for or with your business to perfectly capture your brand, without any additional support and guidance from you. All you need to do is send them your brand guide and assets (such as logos), if necessary, and they’ll be able to produce on-brand content for your business.
It saves time and money
Any time you work with a professional, you’ve got to spend time communicating with them and, of course, pay for their time. If you don’t have a full brand guide, you’ll have to do a lot more back and forth to get what they’re producing for you right, and you’ll have to pay for the additional time it takes them to change things according to your feedback.
All your content will be cohesive
A business with no branding will have no cohesive look to the content they produce, but even if you have a handful of branding elements to use, you’ll leave all other elements to interpretation. For example, if you have a logo and colors, but little else, your team may use different fonts, a different voice and tone, and different shapes and patterns to produce your content. Customers respond best when they can instantly recognize anything from your brand, and that’s not possible if all your content looks like it may be from different companies.
What should a full brand style guide contain?
This can differ somewhat depending on your company’s needs (for example, one company may need 5 different versions of their logo, while yours only needs 3), most full brand guides contain:
- Logos and submarks
- Color palette
- Fonts for headings, subheadings, body text, and any other applications – some will include a web-safe alternative
- Brand identity, values, and voice
- Any styling elements and guidelines (such as straight lines vs. curves, certain design assets as accents, style of buttons on site and landing pages, and so on)
Some brand guides also include things that team members should avoid, but making sure you’ve clearly defined what people should do is key.
There are so many elements that go into a full brand guide that it can be overwhelming – especially if you’re not a designer. Graphic designers can create unique assets for your business and have the expertise and eye to know what works and what doesn’t, which can be a big struggle if your expertise lies elsewhere.
If you need help creating your business’s branding, we’re here to help. Our branding services will support you as you establish your brand and as it continues to grow. To find out more about our graphic design and branding services, click here.