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FREE 2017 Website & Business Planner!

Happy New Year!

With the way Christmas and New Year’s fell on the calendar last year, I feel like that first week of January was getting back into routines and playing catchup more so than getting anything actually planned for 2017!

So here’s your chance! Download our Free 2017 Website & Business Planner PDF and get going on your goal setting!

The PDF will take you through basic business goals that are going to set the foundation for your marketing and website for the year. Try to push yourself from what you’ve done previously and think about new things to try – but keep in mind what worked last year too.

Once you’ve got your foundation goals set for your business, think about how they should be applied to your website. How do these new goals change what your site should look like? What the site should encourage people to do so those goals are realized?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from pros that know how to get things done for you! I’m always here for your business, design and website needs – feel free to give me a shout and see how I can help you tackle that list!

Free Resource: Scales for Tone Exercise (PDF)

This month’s PDF resource is similar to an exercise I do with my design clients when I’m looking to get an idea of what sort of tone/look/feel clients are going for when we first start the design process.

From this exercise, I’ve created a PDF for clients with existing branding that want to see how closely their current branding matches what their ideal branding would be.

It all starts with a list of adjectives, and a place for notes. Each adjective is ranked on a scale from one to ten for how closely that word should be used to describe your branding. In this exercise, you’ll fill out the PDF twice. Once for your current branding, and once for your ideal. This way you can easily compare the two, and see where adjustments should be made. This exercise also asks you to keep in mind who your ideal client is, so if you’re not sure of who your ideal client is, that’s something that needs to be explored before you think about branding. (We’ll do an ideal client exercise in future months, so sign up for the newsletter to make sure you don’t miss that one!)

I hope this exercise helps you to get a clearer picture of where you are now, and where you’d like to be. As always, feel free to ask any questions, or let me know if you’re having trouble getting your branding where it needs to be!

Download the PDF here »

Announcing a new site design!

We’re back! It’s been quite a while since the last post because we’ve been working hard getting the new site designed and coded, and we’re very excited to announce that we’re done! Inevitably there will still be updates, tweaks and testing over the next few weeks, but this was long overdue and it feels great to have it live.

The process of doing your own branding and design is always harder than doing one for a client, where you’re better able to look at it from an objective point of view. Making small updates and design tweaks over and over… and over… doesn’t help, but in the end, we’re really happy with how the site turned out, and the new features that we’re including – namely the Resources section! Right now it’s still “coming soon” as we write up the new content, but there’s still lots of great stuff on the blog, and this section should be finished in the next couple of months. For first dibs on all the resources, opt-in for the Resources Newsletter and get them delivered right to your inbox!

The focus of the new site will be more on providing visitors with the resources to ask themselves the right questions about their business so they can continue to improve it for their target market and see better conversions and greater success. Take advantage of the worksheets, checklists and tips and make sure to apply those insights to your own site and business goals!

Design: Why less is more.

design-less-is-more-jan26-2016

I love a minimal look. I have an awesome poster that came in the mail from Veer several years ago that has a quote under it that reads:

“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
– Antoine De Saint-Exupery

I think it says a lot. It’s easy to look at a design and think “I need to add more, it’s not right just yet”, when really – simplifying the design is what will make the message clear. That’s what design is – it’s communicating a clear message (in a beautiful way).

A minimal website design:

  • allows enough space for the message to make the most impact
  • helps to create a clear path for your visitors to take (right to those call-to-actions!)
  • focuses on the hierarchy of information – highlighting the most important information first
  • looks more professional – too much happening can imply disorganization, scattered direction, and a lack of focus

Keep your focus your message clearly, keep your design elements purposeful, and you’ll see a big impact in your credibility!

P.S. I really liked that the poster also says “studio sweet studio”,  and started to recreate in cross-stitch, but ended up in my pile of “to be completed” crafts – oops!

FITC gem #1: Find your Flow State

One of the things that’s really stuck in my mind since FITC Toronto, 2011, was something Mike Creighton said during his speech Harnessing the Abundance.

He talked about the “Flow State”: when you’re fully immersed in what you’re doing with no awareness of time and surroundings. You’re got a never ending energy and 100% focus on doing what you love.

I hope most people love their jobs (like I do), but even when you love your job, you’ve probably still got hobbies on the side that are extra special to you, because they’re not connected to anyone else. You decide when you start, finish, how far you want to change it from your original idea and no one has any say or sway in it. It’s 100% yours.

I decided that I wanted to make a list of Flow State Projects so that when I found myself with some extra time in the evenings, I could look over the list and decide what I felt like working on. For me, I’d say my Flow State Project list will consist of clothes and jewellery I’ve already got some cool ideas about. I always feel extra inspired when I work on a personal project, and that always helps the creativity flow for my client work. Win-win!

Darwin D. Martin House Tour

After numerous delays crossing the border, we finally made it to the Darwin Martin house tour in Buffalo. I’ve always been interested in architecture so the tour was a great chance to learn more about Frank Lloyd Wright’s attention to detail, his style of architecture as well as indoor decor. It was a blistering 43 degrees, and finally rained once the tour was over (breaking the humidity), but worth the trip for sure!

Overall our tour was very informative, and I would recommend it to anyone!

Frank Lloyd Wright tour

FITC Free Ticket

FITC noticed that there is a huge discrepancy between the number of males and the number of females that attend their conference each year. As a way of encouraging females to attend the conference, they had a contest for the top 50 submissions of video or animation. The rules were simple, tell them why you want to attend and you get bonus points for using Flash to make it.

I had the privilege of going to FITC a couple of years ago and loved how inspiring it was to hear all the new technology that was coming up and seeing the incredible diversity in applications for Flash and other related programmes.

So, without further ado, here is my submission that was chosen to receive a free ticket! Yipee!
Warning: this may not make a ton of sense to those who aren’t as familiar with current web trends and technology.