Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Value of a Good Business Card

Have you ever gone to a business meeting or networking event and collected business cards from companies you were interested in. When you looked at their business cards what did you think??

Be honest now…

I know if I am offered a card that is really unique or has a professional polished appearance I get a favorable impression in fact it makes an impression"this business must be successful". When the card is designed really well I think WOW this company must be successful.

Do you think that something as simple as a business card makes an impression to those you meet? Yes of course it does. Remember the saying “The first impression is the last impression?"

Let's look at the flip side…

You go to a meeting and are handed a business card that is designed with clip art and printed from a home computer… What do you say to that – well in most peoples minds - even subconsciously the thought appears “if they can't afford a professional business card how successful are they”?

Everyone wants to be part of a successful business, if you do not portray success through your marketing material then what are you thinking? How many people have not taken you up on your offers or investigated your website because they are turned off by what they see?

You may want to be frugal and cut corners on some things but professional business cards are not one of them…

Last but not least – those free cards you get from places like vista print may be great for you but can be spotted in a second - in fact on the back it has an ad for Vista Print and it should, after all they gave you that product for free.

The same thing can be said about your website. Uncle Sal may be a wonderful man, and know how to put together a web page (after all it is free, or cheap) but I guarantee 9 out of 10 times it is not professionally put together. People are internet sauvy these days - and can tell a professional website from an amateur one.

Remember these 3 things:

  • You companies professional image can make or break your business.
  • Everyone wants to do business with a successful company, if your image is less you are ultimately losing money.
  • Don't squeeze pennies only to lose dollars. When you don't portray yourself as a successful or credible business a potential client will not want to do business with you.

Don't fool yourselves it is the little things that we overlooked that can create a negative impression.

If you need help with developing a logo - business cards or website contact me! Free consutation included...

Artista Design

Providing Creative Solutions & Amazing Results

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Driving FREE Traffic to your Website.

I am often asked “what is the best way to drive traffic to my website”. There are so many ways to market your website and get results some take a lot of time to cultivate and some can produce traffic right off the bat.

In order to drive traffic you need to know the options available – and then plan your strategy.

There are free ways – you don’t have to pay money but you do have to spend time to get where you want to go. Those of you on a shoe string budget may not have the cash to advertise or use Pay-Per-Click methods.

Remember even the best designed websites will not produce income unless there is traffic directed to it…

. Free traffic, as the term suggests, implies that you drive traffic to your website free of charge. The most common method of obtaining this involves using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. When you optimize your website, search engines view your site as being useful and relevant. This in turn, leads to increase in rankings for your keywords, key phrases.

One thing you must be aware of SEO methods are great for obtaining free traffic in the long term, but it might take as long as six months to a year to see full results.


Search Engines love blogs – the fresh content that is placed in the pages will cause the search engines to pay attention, and it will allow you to gain more exposure for you website. Every business knows the best kind of traffic is targeted visitors – that is exactly what you will get from people who visit your blog and go on to access your website..

You can host your own blog – or use a free version. Just make sure you link back to your website and give plenty of links in your article to redirect traffic

Article Marketing

If you do develop a blog you can re-purpose those article and get them published at article directory sites that have high volumes of traffic. This works to bring in organic search engine traffic within a week (targeted the best kind).

However, as your article moves out of the main pages of the article directories, your traffic is likely to taper off in two to three weeks.

Writing and publishing articles once a week should keep free traffic to your site from dropping off.

Top 10 Article Submission Sites

1. Ezine Articles 2. Article Alley 3. Go Articles 4. Article Dash board 5. Search Warp 6. Buzzle 7. Article Base 8. Article City 9. Idea Marketers 10. Web Source

Social Media Sites

When you do it right Facebook, Twitter and other social media websites can give your blog and website a lot of exposure. You need to post your links, give helpful advice and don’t be afraid to be a giver.

This gives you back links to your website – advertises your business and builds business relationships.

One of the great things you can do to help with time management is to set up your blog article to feed into your social media sites. Showing others (through your articles) that you are a professional gives you credibility.


Having highly positioned sites link to your website will cause Google and other search engines to pull you up higher on the search engine pages – and give greater exposure to your business.

Banner Exchanges

There are also banner exchanges that allow you to post your banner advertisement on the other website when you post one of them on your website. I personally don’t want banners on my website, but if I hada niche site or blog’s that I was using for an affiliate commission I would take advantage of this tactic.


Don’t under estimate what joining the appropriate forums can do. When you join forums that are of interest to your business – it is important to place a link in your signature file. Answer questions – watch posts this goes for others blog’s as well. Post your comments and they usually always link back to your website.

For questions or help please feel free to contact me

Check out my website Artista Design

Monday, January 3, 2011

Creating the Life You Love

The New Year brings about thoughts of change – making resolutions and challenging ourselves to reach for things that we feel will make a real difference in our lives.

But more often than not, no matter how determined we are life gets in the way. Our resolutions are put on the back shelve, and we are in the same position month after month, year after year.

You have all heard the saying “keep doing what you’re doing and keep getting what you are getting”. This is such a true statement – how many people do you know who are stuck in the same rut – unhappy – spinning their wheels and still doing the same thing over and over.

It is not easy to reach your goals – if it were everyone would be successful. It takes determination, a specific plan, and doing what it takes everyday. If you want a change you are going to need to change.

The little things in life make the biggest difference – if you manage your day you can change your life.

You need to set specific goals – the more specific the better. Goal setting is a powerful process when done right. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve and breaking it down into bit size chunks your ideal future will become a reality.

I am a firm believer that nothing is impossible – if you change your thoughts, beliefs and how you talk to yourself, you will be amazed at how different life will become. When you truly believe you can achieve that goal and take these specific steps – you will achieve what you really want in this life.

Goal setting made easy…

First you need to look at the big picture – what is truly important in your life – where do you see yourself in 5 years. By really thinking about this and writing it down on paper you will be able to create a plan that will take you where you want to go. Be very specific the more detail the better.

Then you need to break it down – into smaller and smaller targets. Create a one year plan, six month plan, and one month plan of progressively smaller goals. What are the things you can do today that will lead you in that direction? What actions do you need to take to make this a reality? Each of these steps should be based on the previous plan.

When you have broken it down – you need to make a daily “To Do List” of things you will do to make your vision a reality.

You may be saying to yourself – whew to much work for me or when will I have the time? This is your life and you can make anything happen unless you make excuses. You have the time if you will make it a priority.

Envision your goals, see yourself where you want to be – what will your life be like – how will you feel.

It is not easy – but it is simple when you follow your master plan. Don’t let your head get in the way – negative thoughts are your worst enemy. Don’t share you goals with people who will not support you in your dream. When you share your vision with people who are negative or don’t believe it can be done, you are opening yourself up for self defeating thoughts.

Write down what you say to yourself – and change the negative into a positive.

Everyone will have times when they run into obstacles, it is what you do with them that counts. This is the time when tenacity and belief in yourself will make a difference.

Put together a vision board you can hang up – this may seem silly but it will really help cement your vision. When you start getting discouraged look at it and remember you can do what ever you are determined to do with a strong vision and a good plan you can become unstoppable….