Categories: Etc. Etc.

I was reading about new tech start ups this week and a company called visual.ly caught my attention. Visual.ly offers infographics, statistics and data displayed with enhanced graphics. These are not your father’s pie charts. This is data made beautiful so that non-business/tech/financial geeks can digest and actually enjoy the information too. Infographics have been growing in popularity for this very reason. Companies and individuals can now effectively get their point across with the supporting data that just wasn’t as effective when it was 5 pages of graphs or worse, a 10 page written report.

How does this relate to you?

Most of our clients have looong pages of informational copy that they want on their website. Often times, they are adamant about this information or data being important for their potential client to know because it might sway their decision. The problem is, potential clients have a short attention span.  People want their information FAST. They want your website to load fast and they want to be able to know what you do, why you do it and how you do it, you guessed it, FAST.

Enter infographics.

If you can narrow down the most 1-3 important points you believe are necessary for someone to know that your product or service is right for them, than you can make an infographic. The best part is infographics can be fun. Be creative. Use images and typography(different fonts) to make it visually appealing and keep their attention. One suggestion would be to graphically show what this person’s life is without you and what it will look like with your product or service.

Imagery is more powerful than words with first impressions. Your website design needs to be appealing, but when you make sure the content  is appealing all the way to the order form, that’s when the cash register starts ringing.

* Need help sprucing up your content? Consult a ProfitGeek at 914.407.4335 or email erica@profitgeeks.org

Categories: Etc. Etc.

I’ll be the first to admit that Facebook lost me. As a personal user, I was so B-O-R-E-D.  And then, BAM, Facebook Timeline was unleashed and I was on  it as  fast as I was 6 years ago and coming back for more multiple times a day.

Talk about captivating an audience.

For those of you unfamiliar, Facebook Timeline is the new visual interface for Facebook profiles that offers a more visually dynamic layout of your profile content. A large cover image graces the top of your profile with a subtle but perfectly sized space for a smaller image. All your activity, posts and pictures are laid out in a vertical timeline on both left and right.

So what’s this got to do with your business? Well aside from the fact that Facebook usage has gone back up,(meaning your potential clients are back on it to potentially find you) it means when they do get to your company page, you’ve got a lot more graphic umph to wow them with.

So let’s talk Real Estate.

That cover image, don’t go thinking logo. Think out of the box. If you’re an artist or designer, showcase your masterpieces here. If your business is service oriented, try a graphic that embodies the benefits or results that your clients experience.  Or you can do a creative team photo or location photo. The point is you have a huge eye grabbing space. That smaller photo space? That’s where you put your logo or branding.

Now let’s talk content.

The Timeline is made for storytelling, which is exactly what your business needs to be doing, telling its story. Your story is what makes you different, sets you apart, personifies your company(especially if it’s a larger size) and gets your ideal clients to connect with you.

With simple image uploads you can share where your company began, the ideas and people that spawned it, some of your achievements…the sky really is the limit. Our “give me know society” that skims through articles and clicks from page to page now can  in mere moments grasp a much bigger and fuller picture of your business in a format that actually interests and excites them!

Upping your visibility and credibility (leading to PROFIT)  really doesn’t get any easier than this and to help you see the potential here, check out Mashable’s video montage of what some popular brands have done.

Don’t want to ride the Facebook rollercoaster alone? Link up with a ProfitGeek for a private tutorial by calling 914-407-4335 or email erica@profitgeeks.org

 

 

Categories: Etc. Etc.

To maintain her privacy, we’ll call her Hannah. Hannah attended one of our Virtual Website Make-Over webinars and jumped at the opportunity to have a personal strategy session to talk about her business webpage. A single mom trying to be home more with her child, she was passionate about her new business ideas and goals; but at the end of the session when we talked about implementing the plan we created together, Hannah went into overwhelm.

It just wasn’t a good time, she had so many bills.  And she still had to flesh out her content and programs. She was adamant she was going to do it herself. I wonder if she would have reconsidered if had read some WordPress reviews first.

One commenter says “It’s Quick, but not easy
Yes, If you know what you are doing and have spent hours and hours learning wordpress, you can create a website within 5 minutes. But it’s not easy to learn as others say. learn about plugins, themes, widgets for a beginner. Once you get the hang of it, it’s fast and easy to use.

We love WordPress. If you don’t have a website, we recommend a WordPress one. But don’t let it cost you $20,000 like Hannah’s did. She called us several months later, still with no website and as tired and frustrated as ever. She admitted that she had been working on it for nearly SIX months and when she added up all the time she worked on it instead of with clients, she realized she had spent over $20,000  in billable hours trying to make her own website. YIKES!

One of the traits of successful business owners is knowing when to delegate tasks. This particular commenter does note that once you know what you are doing, WordPress is a snap, which is one of the reasons our clients love it so much. Being able to update your own website saves you time because you don’t have to wait on a developer to do it for you. It also saves you money because you aren’t paying professional fees. (But don’t mistake updating your own site with building it yourself.)

Some other WordPress perks:

  • High converting opt-in pages
  • Slash your costs with easy as pie self-updating
  • Sales pages, Opt-In pages, blogs and video in one simple but eye-popping design
  • Traffic tweaks so more folks find your site without paying through the nose for traffic

If this article is hitting home for you, maybe it’s time for a complimentary Website Audit Strategy Session with some ProfitGeeks. Turns out we know a couple.  😉

Call 845.809.3757 or email ProfitGeek@craftwerks.com with subject: No_20k Promo. You’ll be  saving money and back to making money in no time!

Categories: Etc. Etc.

Are you reading through multiple newsletters, blogs and articles trying to follow the latest trending websites, apps or systems for business?

Are you struggling to understand or decide which strategies and systems are going to really help you connect with your target market and which are just time-suckers?

Can you afford your own rates while you crank out hours recreating instead of “rinse and repeating”?

Research is timely and time is money; but can you afford to do nothing to streamline your marketing and sales processes?

Welcome to ProfitGeek Insider!

Think of ProfitGeek as your own personal team of business tech geeks scurrying aroundgathering the latest data, sorting through the clutter and delivering a fully translated, jargon-free report with how to save money and make money, right in your inbox in time for morning coffee. Ahhhh.

With the rapid evolution of the internet, everyday new advances are made in technology. Apps that track pipeline, sales, invoices and productivity. Websites to connect you directly with your market or make strategic business relationships.

With your weekly ProfitGeek Insider, you will make decisions quickly and confidently about what will move you forward towards your business style and financial goals.

The best part, ProfitGeek Insider is completely complimentary!

Have a great weekend!

Your ProfitGeeks,

Erica and Rick

P.S. ProfitGeek is a service by Craftwerks New Media Inc, which means it’s 100% focused on helping you increase visibility, credibility and profit!

P.P.S. Don’t currently receive Craftwerks e-newsletters? Shoot an email to erica@craftwerks.com to receive your complimentary ProfitGeek Insider subscription.

Categories: Etc. Etc.

So we’re thinking this Tech review might become a regular piece of our newsletter. Digging deep into web technology is what we do best. (This is why a certain someone sleeps with an iPhone under his pillow…to constantly have access to the latest tech releases.) And sharing all the wonderful gadgets, widgets and apps with you, well, that’s what we love to do best, especially when we know it can make a difference in your business.

This week I was checking out several cloud bookkeeping and accounting softwares. As small business owners know, bookkeeping is not easy, fun or cheap.

Until now.

Who knew that there were so many choices? But I’ll narrow it down to a few to take a peek at: FreshBooks, Outright, and Xero.

Each one offers a different means of importing data including; spreadsheets, QuickBooks files, google apps and even direct account connections. The collected data then makes it easy to create invoices and view reports. FreshBooks and Outright offer free editions and Xero does offer a trial subscription.

Your unique business needs and preferences will determine which is the right fit for you, but our recommendation is for FreshBooks, which has the cleanest and simplest navigation and layout. Invoicing is done in clicks with fields prepopulating from Google and other apps. It also maintains a Profit & Loss report, priceless to have at your fingertips during tax time, IRS inquiries or when applying for loans.

You may have to wear many hats as an entrepreneur, but thanks to improving technology your “accounting hat” can be much lighter and worn less frequently. We hope you’ve enjoyed and benefited from this Tech review! Be sure to stop by our Facebook page to share your thoughts.

Cheers,
Erica & Rick

Categories: Press

Craftwerks donated their time to host a sold-out workshop at the Pawling Library. If you are interested in hosting an event to help inform your community about the power of websites, social media and internet marketing, please contact us!

Categories: Thoughts

90% of my working hours  are spent online and half of that is giving one on one tutorials with my clients or giving an online workshop to a group. Explaining how to use online applications without being able to visually show examples was challenging.

In fact, it could be a comedy skit straight out of SNL… If you are now remembering tech support horror stories, I apologize.

I love what I do and I love helping people. But it was obvious that saying “Look at the top of the screen…Do you see…? “was not delivering the experience I wanted my audience to have. I want people to understand and feel comfortable using online applications such as social media platforms or WordPress. Unfortunately, I was still in the loop of trying to describe something I’m familiar with in a way that someone unfamiliar can translate.

Enter Screen Share software.
OK I could totally geek out right now and tell you in detail about the days spent trialing 7 different screen share softwares ( It was heaven!), but I’ll spare you.
Screen share software is exactly what it sounds like; you can share your screen with people. Download requirements vary from company to company; but generally, all you need is a link that you can email to the person(s) you want to show your screen to. By clicking the link, your audience can see your computer monitor the same way you do and in real time.

Now when I do training sessions, my screen is visible and I can actually show while I instruct and not sound like I’m reading from a troubleshooting script. Oh and the best part, my clients are now able to enjoy the session because they aren’t confused and are able to apply what they’ve learned on their own. I also save time and money because certain training that use to require meeting in person, I can now do virtually.

If having the ability to show your clients what is on your screen of benefit to your business then I strongly recommend trying join.me or any other screenshare software. If you don’t have a particular use for this, then let me just encourage you to be open to trying new technologies that can help make your business more effective by reducing work time, expenses or improving your client’s experience.

Pop over to facebook and share what rocked your business in 2011.

Categories: News

All too often, people start cramming on their businesses in December with rushed sales and creating holiday products that are just going to get scrapped in January. The results are often disastrous.

We say take a break, pause and don’t work on your website design or other serious renovations and business changes. Enjoy the holidays. Enjoy your families.

How have we made this easy for you?

We’re giving you an amazing rate now, but you don’t need to start your project until 2012.

Start fresh, clear your mind and be ready to start strong in January, (which by the way is only 2.5 weeks away.)

Now isn’t the time to jump in, but it is time to get prepared. Get the benefit of a Holiday Special with the peace of mind of not beginning until 2012.

Call 845-809-3757 or email now to schedule your complimentary Website Breakthrough Strategy Session.

Can’t wait to talk to you!

-Erica and Rick

Categories: Time management

I’m pretty sure I could write a ballad about the love-hate relationship I have with marketing campaigns. When I worked for other companies and my sole job was marketing, I didn’t break a sweat. I didn’t have to worry about the accounting department. I didn’t have to make sure HR issues where being addressed appropriately. Ah the days of the cubicle and one track work…

Being an entrepreneur means you wear a lot of hats, but I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know yourself.

You may have noticed that we’ve been focused on our upcoming video-summit, Visibility Credibility Profit Boost. Truth is, I was finding it challenging (putting it lightly) to organize such an event and run all other aspects of the company simultaneously. So here’s something I found that helped me organize my time and meet my deadlines without resembling a frantic headless chicken.

Task Management:
Taking project management to the next level, not only did I separate and assign the VCP Boost tasks to my support team with specific dates, but I integrated that specific task calendar into our regular business task calendar.

When I did this, I had a much better understanding of how much work total needed to be done in one day. Any days that had more than 3 tasks per person were re-evaluated and schedules where moved to even out the work load.

The result: deadline goals where easier to attain and we weren’t missing falling behind in day to day tasks.

It’s easy to get excited or distracted by one aspect of your work, especially if it’s the part you’re really passionate about. (If you’re anything like me, that probably isn’t the Quick-books part.) But you’re an entrepreneur now and  responsible for your business as a whole, so be sure to have a solid support team and a solid plan that will hold your business together without you having to personally “have your hand in all the pots.”

Trust me, you’ll like the results. 🙂