From a design and content perspective, building your online presence occurs in several steps. The first, your vision, happens with you, and maybe your branding department or a marketing professional. You decide what kind of image you want your brand or product to convey. Once you know what your are, you can start to think about how to get there. That’s where a design and content professional steps in. When creating content and designing platforms I look at several “points of entry.” As your time and budget permits, you may need help with all of these, or just a single task. You may want someone to continuously update the content on a scheduled basis, or someone who can step in now and then to lift some of the load.
Consultation. You need to know who I am, and I certainly need to know who you are. There are certain tips and tricks to creating content that attracts attention and adheres to the practices of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but the most important thing is that your creations are engaging, useful, and unique. They need to speak to who you are, distinguishing your offerings from potentially thousands of similar products or services. Whoever creates the content and designs the platform must understand your brand. There is no such thing as useful impersonal or formulaic design. All other design choices depend on this crucial part of the process.
Once both client and professional are on the same page regarding image and branding, they work together to design a platform. In most cases this will be a website or social media profile. It may also be the user interface of an application. In each case, considerations are graphics, layout and functionality. You want aesthetics that stand out more than cookie-cutter, clip art assets likely to be seen on dozens of sites. Your budget may not permit a complete round of logo designs. This can be a particularly costly prospect. But you certainly want a designer who can personalize the most important elements of your product. Design is a careful balancing act of originality and functionality. Your platform needs to be well organized so that users can navigate it quickly and effectively. It has to draw them to your featured product without frustrating them with redirects. It has to be cohesive and readable. Everything matters here, from layout and site structure, to color scheme and use of fonts. I use popular Content Management Systems (CMS) like wordpress and sitejet so that you can be involved in the process.
Now your brand has been realized and your platform, or delivery method, finalized you’ll need something to deliver. If you don’t create your own content, I can do so for you. I take and prepare images; shoot and edit basic, short-form videos, write website copy and blog articles, and create engaging graphics for your videos. I can produce this content across platforms, focusing on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Vimeo and others. Everything I do is optimized for the web. I keep file sizes as small as possible while maintaining quality, and ensure that you have a media “ecosystem” in which everything connects in a logical, effective manner. If you need these services on an ongoing monthly basis, I offer affordable package deals. Or you can contact me as needed.
We’re almost there. Everything is set up. We need to make sure people see it. While I cannot offer marketing on the scale of a dedicated agency, I make sure that all of your content is optimized to attract followers and make sales. I will ensure that your website climbs the search engine rankings by creating keyword-rich copy, images and videos with researched alt-text, heading tags (H1) that make your site most relative to Google, and loading times (Ping) that ensure clients don’t bounce from your site as soon as they have arrived. I’ll make sure you have clean code.
In this stage I offer ongoing tech support to keep the site healthy. I will perform SEO analytics, tracking users over time and making sure that everything is optimized; and I will keep a steady stream of content. Content is especially important, and often overlooked--even for businesses that may not seem an obvious candidate. Both Google and your clients love content. It makes your site relevant for search engines and gives users a reason to come back. Again, maintenance can be on an as-needed basis, or I can step in when you need me. Again, transparency is my guiding principle. Some of these practices can seem esoteric. I’ll make sure to explain them in plain english.