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Tips to Improve your Website

The Internet is an ever-changing miracle of technology, and it is important that you keep your website up-to-date. Improving your website often makes for a better, more seamless user experience, which in-turn will reward you with a satisfied customer. A website that looks dated or that doesn’t have the latest features ‒ as they pertain to your business ‒ is almost a turn off for would-be customers. Here are some helpful tips to improve your website for the modern world:

  • Add a Mission Statement – Also known as a value proposition, this informs visitors to your website about your company. Information to be included in the statement is: the location of your company, to whom you market and serve/sell, what your company does, and the benefit(s) customers can get out of using your company. The mission statement should go on your homepage, and you can add it to your About or Blog page(s).
  • Incorporate Social Media Links – If your company has social media profiles ‒ which it definitely should nowadays ‒ you should add links on your website for visitors to follow. Utilizing social media greatly increases the amount of traffic your website receives.
  • Use Calls-to-Action – When a visitor first gets to your website, can s/he easily navigate through the various pages to fulfill the purpose of their visit? While there are some basic calls-to-action, such as “call/email for a consultation”, you should strive to update them for a better user experience. Some examples of more advanced calls-to-action are: click here for more information, sign up for a webinar, and view pricing.
  • Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly? – The advent of the Internet has birthed new technologies, most notably the smartphone. Almost everyone has a smartphone nowadays, so it’s important that your website be optimized for mobile. You can test this out yourself on your own smartphone, and ask yourself the following: when would someone go to my website on mobile? How is the experience on the website right now? Remember, mobile optimization is all about user experience, so your visitors should be able to navigate your website effortlessly and with ease. Check out the mobile category on our blog for more information.

One of the biggest considerations for a quality website is user experience. Most updates and new features are released to make the whole experience for visitors to your website easier, and more enjoyable and fluid. It’s a smart technique to garner more traffic to the website and, therefore, more potential customers. The content should be flattering and attention-grabbing, but not so flashy that users are turned off. There’s a delicate balance to making a user-friendly website, and getting it right will be so beneficial, not only for you, but also your new customers.

Professional Presentations

Whether you use Powerpoint, Google Slides or another presentation software, having captivating and informative presentations for your clients can mean the difference between making the sale and losing a client. Add some creativity that will captivate your viewers with a clever presentation, images and content that will keep them listening from beginning to end.

  •  Be Well Versed – One thing that completely turns off an audience is having the presenter read directly from the slides. Know your topic well enough that you do not need to read every word but rather can talk freely and interact with the audience.
  • Use Quality Photography – Sharp and custom photography can really make your presentation pop. Use images of your business when possible instead of stock photography. Make the images unique and interesting to look at.
  • Choosing Slide Backgrounds – Many presenters go for flashy or eye catching backgrounds but others rely on solid backgrounds that make the content stand out. Either way you choose, make sure your colors are eye pleasing and that bullet points are easily readable in a font that matches the tone of the presentation.
  • Be Clear – Make each slide clear and to the point. Use bullets but do not overwhelm your audience with too many points to consider on each slide. Instead break up major topics into smaller ones so that your audience can follow your train of thought.
  • Use Humor – Your presentation has an ultimate goal for your company. Using humor to maintain the attention of the audience can help you get to that goal. If your audience is bored they may stop listening. Keep them laughing with personal anecdotes or common situations that your listeners can relate to will keep them on task.

BLS Provider CPR (1-day Initial or Renewal Course, multiple sessions available)

(Initial or Renewal Course based on the 2015 AHA Guidelines)
Basic Life Support (BLS) is the foundation for saving lives after cardiac arrest. This course teaches both single-rescuer and team basic life support skills for application in both in-facility and prehospital settings. This course is designed for healthcare professionals and other personnel who need to know how to perform CPR and other basic cardiovascular life support skills.

In addition, BLS training can be appropriate for first responders, such as police officers and firefighters, as well as for laypeople whose work brings them into contact with members of the public, such as school, fitness center, or hotel and restaurant employees.

Students must pass a written exam and skills test in order to qualify for a BLS Course Completion Card.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will receive a completion cad valid for 2 years.

Conveniently scheduled on Saturday, please choose the session that works best for you.

REGISTER NOW!

Publicity 101

“Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for.”

Public Relations is a very careful dance where the image of a company is shaped by promoting ideas, products or services. In addition, PR is meant to spotlight accomplishments in an unpaid or earned method. Publicity is not writing snappy slogan or buying advertisement space online or in a magazine. In many ways consumers are often confused about the differences between marketing and publicity. Let’s examine the fundamentals of publicity and how it can benefit your business.

What exactly do publicists do?

PR experts are great storytellers and persuasion professionals who use their writing, communication and interpersonal skills to promote a company and their products/services. Tools that a PR expert uses include:

  • Writing and distributing press releases
  • Speech writing
  • Writing pitches (less formal than press releases) about a firm and send them directly to journalists
  • Creating and executing special events designed for public outreach and media relations
  • Conduct market research on the firm or the firm’s messaging
  • Expansion of business contacts via personal networking or attendance and sponsoring at events
  • Writing and blogging for the web
  • Crisis public relations strategies
  • Social media promotions and responses to negative opinions online (Source: Forbes)

How is Public Relations different from traditional or digital advertising?

The most important way that a publicity campaign differs from an advertising campaign is in the cost. Advertising is paid media, whereas public relations is earned media. For example PR means that a professional PR person convinces a reporter or editor of a media outlet to cover or write a positive story about your company or product. While this method of exposure is more difficult to control it is obviously less expensive and can build a level of trust since a third party is validating your product or service. Advertising is much more controllable and can beneficially build brand exposure it tends to be expensive and the audience knows that the advertisement is biased toward the owner or company.

While publicity will never replace a solid marketing campaign, it does play an important part in the overall strategy of of any business. Planning a successful publicity campaign should be an integral part of every company’s plan to build their brand and connect with consumers.

What Social Media Platforms are Right for your Business?

You may be surprised to know that, although social media is a current buzz word, that this type of communication as been around since 1969, when CompuServe used technology known as dial-up to connect to the web.  It wasn’t until decades later that “friendster,” “MySpace” and the earliest social networking sites took off with the dawn of the new millennium.  Today, social media platforms have evolved from fun places to share news and photos with friends into networking spheres and effective advertising tools that are critical to the growth and success of small business.  With the growing importance of social media, businesses can not afford to ignore this critical marketing tool, but they also can not invest time and money into every social network.  So how can businesses decide which platform is the best fit for their business needs?

Here is a brief overview of the top social networking sites and details about each that may help make your decision about which platform is the best choice for your unique brand.

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Facebook- Facebook is the largest of all social media platforms which is great if you are hoping to reach a large volume of people.  Businesses can easily share relevant content, speak directly to their viewers and receive feedback from them.  Since it is such a busy marketplace you will need to monitor your page carefully and find a way to be heard over your competition. Getting Started on Facebook

  • Audience Reach – 1 billion registered users (33% of ALL internet users worldwide) and 699 million daily active users (23% of all internet users worldwide)
  • Audience Breakdown – 25 to 34 year olds take up 29.7% of the users.
    Facebook users are 53% women and 47% male.

imagesTwitter – Branded as “texting for the internet,” Twitter is a place where businesses can create brand awareness, gain followers and promote content.  Using short, 140 character text messages, Twitter allows companies to reach all of its followers something Facebook’s algorithm does not allow. Getting Started on Twitter

  • Audience Reach – 650 million users.
  • Audience Breakdown – Evenly split between the sexes, favored by college graduates, younger users (15 – 25 year olds) and those who earn $75,000+ a year.

imagesLinkedIn – Touted as the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn offers valuable opportunities for business professionals and  Business-to-Business companies  a chance to get their message in front of the right people. Credible connections are made using company and personal profiles that can be accessed by others in your field or parallel markets. Getting Started on LinkedIn

  • Audience – There are 300 million people using LinkedIn.
  • Audience Breakdown – 50/50 split by gender, tends to be business professionals

imagesGoogle + – This social platform is often compared to Twitter and Facebook.  Google Hangouts is a great place to start talking with people and many businesses use it to keep in contact with employees as well as customers. With extras such as Communities, Circles, and the increase in SEO, Google + can be a great choice for industry professionals, bloggers and photographers. Getting Started on Google+

  • Audience – 550 million active monthly users.
  • Audience Breakdown – Mostly men use Google+ and it attracts professionals such as students, technology industry professionals, bloggers and photographers.

imagesYouTube – Known as the video-sharing social media platform, YouTube allows users to upload, share and view videos. As of the Fall of 2014, YouTube is the third most popular site, behind Google and Facebook. 90% of customers of online retailers say that they find videos useful in making purchasing decisions. Getting Started on YouTube

  • Audience – 100 million unique visitors every month.
  • Audience Breakdown – 54% of people who use YouTube are male and 37% are between 18 – 34.

PinterestPinterest – Pinterest is a visual content sharing social platform. Retailers, craftspeople, and mostly women use Pinterest to create and collect content as a sort of portfolio.  Getting Started on Pinterest

  • Audience – 70 million active monthly users.  47.7% percent of shoppers say that content they’ve seen on Pinterest has inspired holiday gift purchases.
  • Audience Breakdown – 80% of Pinterest users are women. In addition, Pinterest users tend to have a higher income.

imagesInstagram – Instagram is a photo and video sharing platform that allows users to share their photos with other users. Videos can be filtered and altered depending on the style the photographer chooses. Getting Started on Instagram

  • Audience – 5 million US. Internet users access it at least once a month (and that’s with 60% of Instagram users being outside of the U.S!)
  • Audience Breakdown – 37% of all users are 18 –29 and 68% are female.

images-2Houzz – Houzz is an online community about architecture, interior design and decorating, landscape design and home improvement. Founded in 2009, Houzz is a platform and mobile app featuring interior and exterior home photos, articles written by architects, interior designers and home design experts, product recommendations, and a user forum.  Getting Started on Houzz

  • Audience – 25 Million + monthly unique visitors
  • Audience Breakdown – designers, graphic artists, architects and photographers are the main users of this social media