New Year Resolutions for you and your Business!

NewYearsBlog

7 New Year resolutions to start your year of right!

1. Blog more.  Once you hit publish, your blog is there for visitors and new customers to see – tomorrow, next week, or even years from now. Every time you post you have an excellent opportunity to build on the relationship you have with your existing customer and to grow a new audience.  It is simply a tool to promote you and your business.  So, step it up and try posting a new blog once or twice a week.

2. Utilize Social Media.  Every social media platform serves a different purpose and draws a distinct audience.  Do the research and then choose which platforms are best for your business.  Two choices that are usually a safe bet are Facebook and Twitter.  Increase your level of activity and take note of what individuals like and what is not getting as much attention.  Try adding 25-50 new social media contacts per week.

3. Be more productive.   Pick a few key elements that you think will help productivity, such as focusing on one major task at a time or organizing your day into time blocks. Then decide to fully implement them in the year to come.

4. Become more involved in your Community.  You owe it to your community and your business to give back and get involved.  Community involvement gives potential customers another reason to visit you. You are increasing visibility and making a positive impact all in one.  Consider pairing with your Chamber of Commerce on an event or hosting community meetings.

5. Set goals and strive to implement them.  Set one or two goals that will really impact your business and remind everyone of those goals on a regular basis.  Use a bulletin board to showcase the goals set and address them regularly at meetings.  A good example of an easy goal to set is taking the time to talk to your customers on a regular basis.

6. Take the time to say Thank You.  In today’s fast-paced world we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle that sometimes we forget to say thank you.  I have found making notes, as a reminder, helps me when sending a follow up thank you.  The simple gesture of writing a handwritten note could leave a lasting impression.

7. Take Care of Yourself.  Burning the candle at both ends is certainly not uncommon for those of us who wear many hats in our personal and professional lives.  Although it’s admirable and some of us find it necessary to be busy, you must find a balance between work and the rest of your life.  Make sure you are finding time for family and friends, that you are eating well balanced meals, getting regular exercise and taking time to rest.  

So pace yourself, have fun, and enjoy your life at work and at home.

Advertisements

10 Primo Tips to help make you a Graphic Design Pro

Whether you are creating graphics for a social media campaign or shutterstock_301869413
designing an advertisement, good graphic design can make a world of difference to your project. From choosing fonts and imagery to alignment and size, the design process can be very complicated. Check out my top ten design tips to help with your creative process…and remember our PIP of the Triad team are always happy to help with all of your creative needs!

No. 1: Become a design packrat! Look to store fronts, blogs, current trends, product packaging, and billboards for inspiration. Also, don’t just consider the overall design, instead break it down into components (is there a certain shape or color that works well, etc…). Just remember find inspiration not plagiarism!

No. 2: Think beyond the text. Consider using imagery or a border. A reader takes in 80% of the artwork, 75% of photographs, and 56% of headlines, but only 25% of text!

No. 3: Break up and balance your design. There is a fine line between too much white space and overcrowding. Try using different shapes and backgrounds to break up ad content.

No. 4: Use your font palette and branch out from the usual! Always make the heading stand out, the subtitle and body a bit more simple, and use legible texts that compliment each other. Try to only use 2-3 font styles per design piece!

No. 5: Frame it! Consider framing images and text to help catch the reader’s eye.

No. 6: Choose a color scheme. Pick 2-3 colors that best portray your theme and is appealing to the reader. Colors can have lots of meanings, so choose wisely!

No. 7: Relate to your audience. Keep the target reader in mind when developing the tone and look of your piece.

No. 8: Keep the eye flowing. Avoid using hyphenations and abbreviations. Always check for spelling errors and try to keep the language simple and legible.

No. 9: Use keyboard shortcuts. Save some time and increase productivity by learning useful keyboard shortcuts.

No. 10: Don’t be afraid! Be bold and daring with designs! No one remembers boring designs! Avoid the “same old, same old” and be different! Always remember – creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun!

Contact PIP of the Triad for all of your Creative Needs!

 

PIP Welcomes New Graphic Designer to the Team!

AlexPIPAlex was born and raised in southern Virginia, about an hour north of the Triad. She has worked as a Freelance Graphic Designer for over 10 years. She attended High Point University, where she studied Art with a concentration in Graphic Design and Marketing. Upon graduation, Alex worked as a Graphic Designer and Assistant to the President at a marketing company in Mount Airy, NC. After working in the design field for a few years, Alex had the opportunity to work for the Governor’s Administration in Richmond, Virginia as the Assistant Mansion Director and Aide to the First Lady and later as the Operations Director for the Governor’s PAC. While working for the Governor, Alex created websites, maintained social media pages, assisted with event planning and fundraising, and planned and carried out the Governor’s Mansion and First Lady’s Initiatives Projects.

Towards the end of the Governor’s tenure, Alex decided to return home and to the design field as a Graphic Designer and Marketing Manager for Civitas Media. While at Civitas, Alex was responsible for planning, branding, program development, and special projects across all print and digital media properties for Civitas, a media company with 100+ newspaper and digital properties. Some of her projects included community directories, magazines, circulation promotions, website templates, direct mail, coupon books, advertisements, sales collateral, and sales and marketing presentations.

Alex brings a sense of pride and immense work ethic to every design project, which she attributes to growing up and working on her family’s 9th generation farm in Claudville, Virginia. Her success as both an independent and professional artist is mainly due to her creativity, accountability, and ability to link marketing and design to any project she takes on.

Alex is excited to join the PIP team and return to the Triad area. Some of her responsibilities at PIP will include: designing a wide range of materials including large format printing, banners, promotional products, brochures, print and web ads, and direct mail. She will also work closely with the marketing department on branding, social media campaigns, and providing materials for our Sales Team.

Other than her passion for design, Alex has a love for volunteer work. She enjoys volunteering with 4-H programs, Victory Junction Gang Camp, and serves on the Alumni Board at High Point University. She also enjoys being outdoors, designing jewelry, spending time with friends and family, and spoiling her three dogs: Tater Tot, Graycie Ann, and Rupp.

Marketing your business in 2016

Marketing your business is already hard, right? As a business owner or operator you know how awesome you are, and how stellar the products and services you offer! However, getting that message into the hands of a potential customer is extremely tiring and costly at times.

Every person and every generation all consume media differently. Do you do TV commercials, place an ad in the newspaper or yellow pages, use direct mail, billboards, paid search or the guy on the side of the road dancing with a sign?

While dancing sign guys can be very effective, will that work in 2016? In 2016 you have so many major events going on vying for the consumer’s attention. You have a presidential election, the 2016 Olympics, and much more.

In a 24 hour time period in 2015 the average consumer sees 3,000 messages or advertisements. In 2016 with political advertising in full effect, you could see that number increase from 25 to 50%.

What will make your business stand out from the rest? Your message has to be able to gain their attention. Not only do you have to be able to grab their attention, you have to fight for available real estate for all mediums. Prices will ebb and flow because space will be an issue throughout most of the year, then once the election is over you will be in full holiday marketing zone.

 

How is my website the same as my car?

shutterstock_332712113

You need a set of wheels, a mode of transportation, to get to and from work, activities, and fun. You go to the dealership, find the right car for you, buy it and finance it. You pay for your taxes, tag, and insurance and take it off the lot.

Most would agree – outside of buying your home, paying for college, having a child, or paying for your wedding – that buying a car ranks up there in the top 5 things that cost major money. Correct?

Building a website for your business is exactly the same. You have to have a website. That is how people get to and from you. They learn about your business, how to get in touch with you, even do business with you through your website.

Outside of facilities and equipment -the website is one of the larger expenses for your business and is a vital one at that! However, most people underestimate the cost of owning and maintain a website.

Now, how is my car the same as my website?

When you buy a car – you buy, or finance it all up front. It is the same when you buy or build your website. Most website developers require at least a 50% deposit before the build and the balance when the site is live.

When you buy a car – you get a 3 year or 36,000 mile warranty. It is the same when you buy your website. Most website developers will offer a 90 day warranty to get any bugs out. They will fix at their cost anything that comes up in that 90 days.

When you buy a car you have to pay yearly property taxes and Insurance. The same with websites – you have to pay hosting, basically rent for the space where your website is stored. That can range from $6.00 to $1,000 a year, depending on the company.

Maintenance – with any car you have to change the oil every 3,000 miles and rotate the tires every 6,000 miles. You also have to replace tires, filters and other worn-out parts. All that comes with owning a vehicle. With a website it is very similar. You have to do software updates regularly – this keeps you from getting hacked. You also should routinely do security scans, monthly service contracts are available at a low cost.

Painting and Washing – Like a car – websites get dirty and age out – so take your website through the car wash and freshen it up regularly, repaint if necessary.

Like a car – a website breaks down – there is going to be a day that your site breaks down. Something goes wrong. Even if you have done all the regularly scheduled maintenance on your car, you will still get a flat tire! However – remember that you subscribe to AAA or a service like Onstar, someone you can call to get a quick fix. There are services like that for your website.

Lastly – like a car, a website can’t drive itself! Once you buy a car – you don’t park it in the yard and expect it to take you to work without you first putting your foot on the gas. Websites are the same thing- you have to put the foot on the gas and put gas in the tank. Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, and Social Media can all help speed up the return on the investment of building a website.

As any smart car owner – make sure you have a mechanic (website provider) you trust and make sure you understand and ask all the right questions about your purchase.

Know and understand the costs of owning a website.

Digital Marketing In The Holidays – A Training Event

shutterstock_346044632

 

On Thursday, December 10th, 2015 –  PIP Triad will once again partner with the Alamance Chamber of Commerce to host the 4th part of this year’s tech series!

In this session we will cover how to make the most of the end of the year rush to get your final content marketing efforts to your audience. Among the hustle and bustle of making it from Turkey Day to the fireworks and festivities of New Year’s Eve, you need to still need to publish with consciousness about the distraction we are experiencing as consumers this time of year. We will then look at the forecast for 2016!

Registration is $15.00 and the session will run from 10 a.m. to 12 Noon Hurry Seating is limited and filling up fast!

Click here to register or to learn more!