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Free images are a blessing when one has to design something, or use an image for a social post which is the purpose of a digital marketer’s  work. Spending hours on a search engine tearing your hair out over yet another paid stock image is enough to drive anyone to tears. Fear not! There are a number of lovely free image sites available. Here we take a look at a few of them and give you a great breakdown.

Splitshire

SplitShire boasts 1038 free photos, ranging from romantic old boats to light bulbs. The photos are all great quality, and have an arty look about them.  All the photos are from one artist who says : “I created SplitShire with the simple aim of giving life to photographs that would have gone into oblivion without any utility.”  Here you will find the ramblings of an incredible photographer, who has very kindly allowed all of his work to be freely downloaded and used for personal and commercial purposes.

Pros:
  • Original Images from artist
  • Free for download and reproduction
  • One click download
  • Wide range of images
Kaboompics

Kaboompics is a boutique-like site. It offers a collection of photo shoots and a blog. The photos are all pretty typical stock type pics, rather than arty, like SplitShire. This is a great site of you are looking for pics for ads. The blog has relevant subjects pertaining to images and the advertising industry, many of which are interesting to read.  It also works on colour palettes, which is super useful for anyone trying to get pics to match a theme.

Pros:
  • Great stock images
  • Made for the advertising industry
  • Works on color palettes
  • Free for download and reproduction
  • One click download
  • Wide range of images
Negative Space

Negative Space offers beautiful free stock photos of things such as nature, plants, and people dancing. Although the pics are pretty standard stock images, there are some lovely textures amongst them too.  The images are sorted into tags and categories for easy filtering. All the images are one click downloads which is nice, but beware the side bar that takes you to similar images on a paid site.

Pros:
  • Great stock images
  • Lovely texture options
  • Free for download and reproduction
  • One click download
  • Wide range of images
  • Beware sidebar to paid site
Epicantus

This one is a little different. These are pics from a particular artist called Daria. She specializes in land and aerial pics taken from a plane. All of her work is free to use, also may not fit into your general idea of stock photography. It is interesting to look at though, and well worth a visit!

Pros:
  • Original Images from artist
  • Free for download and reproduction
  • One click download
  • Only landscape images
Cupcake

Cupcake has a good selection of stock pics that you can do what you want with. You are free to modify them in any way, as well as use them either personally or professionally.  These are all pics taken by a talented guy called Jonas. He specializes in landscapes and nature, but there are some food and animal shots interspersed too.

Pros:
  • Original Images from artist
  • Free for download and reproduction
  • One click download
  • Specializes in nature and landscapes
Moveast

This is the journey of one traveler as he moved to Dubai. Most of the pics are of South Korea, its people and its landscapes. He is a very talented artist, although the pics are not stock as you would imagine. They are free to use though, and may work in a very specific setting.

Pros:
  • Original Images from artist
  • Free for download and reproduction
  • One click download
  • Only images of his trip through Korea
Stock Up

Stock-Up is a nice site full of stock images for all occasions. You can find over 25 000 images here, ranging from food to people, to landscapes to objects.  Each one is tagged, so you can search through them using words such as “yellow” and “dog”. These pics are bright, and can be used in a number of settings. All are free for use to distribute or change as you wish.

Pros:
  • Great stock images
  • Over 25 000 images
  • Free for download and reproduction
  • One click download
  • Wide range of images
Pexels

Pexels is one of the better known free pics sites. It has a very wide range of images. Most people are bound to find something there that suits their needs.  Personally, Pexels is my go-to site when I need an image for anything. All the pics are high quality, you have a choice of sizes that you can download, and it’s easy as pie.

Pros:
  • Great stock images
  • Over  1 million pics
  • Free for download and reproduction
  • One click download
  • Wide range of images
  • Choice of download size
Librestock

Another well-known site. Libre has a huge range of images, although it works a bit differently. They source images from other sites, and pull them through into one place for you. This means you don’t have to go searching. It’s kind of like an image search engine.

Pros:
  • Great stock images
  • Image search engine
  • Free for download and reproduction
  • One click download
  • Wide range of images
Burst

Burst is a pretty free image site with a wide range of stock images. Everything from animals to jewelry, you will definitely find a pic to suit you here.  It also has a cool little tips section on how to make social media ads better, and other topics worth a read.

Pros:
  • Great stock images
  • Great Tips section
  • Free for download and reproduction
  • One click download
  • Wide range of images
Stocksnap

This site offers hundreds of high resolution pics, which is slightly less than other big free image sites. It has all the same sort of pics though, ranging from birds to business.  You can also submit your own photos, and see if they make the cut!

Pros:
  • Great stock images
  • Submit your own pics
  • Free for download and reproduction
  • One click download
  • Wide range of images
Foodies Feed

This is a cool site that is dedicated to food images. Here you can find all sorts of delicious photos that can be used as borders, or just images. High res and good quality, this is undoubtedly the place to go to if you need pics of food.

Pros:
  • Specialized food image site
  • Images for fillers and borders
  • Free for download and reproduction
  • One click download
  • Everything food orientated
Lorem Picsum

We all know the Lorem Ipsum text place holder. This site is a play on those words, and prides itself as a Lorem Ipsum but for photos. Simply enter the size of the placeholder photo that you need, and the site will bring up something pretty for in the meantime. Of course, you can use the pics for your project if you wish.

Pros:
  • Image filler site
  • Great stock images
  • Choose your image size and filler shape
  • Free for download and reproduction
  • One click download
  • Wide range of images
Imageric

This site doesn’t just offer pics, but vectors too. Vectors are incredibly useful when designing, as they can be resized infinitely. The site itself doesn’t seem to hold any vectors, and sends you to other vector sites where you have to sign in. The images are good, although you can see that many of them are organized into photo-shoots.  Be careful, clicking on the wrong image can send you to paid stock sites.

Pros:
  • Great stock images
  • Be careful of getting taken to paid site
  • Has access to vectors, but you have to sign in
  • Most images are from organized shoots
  • Free for download and reproduction
  • One click download
  • Wide range of images
Skitter Photo

Skitter is a nice little site with a wide variety of high res pics. It’s easy to download, you just use one click. There are no different sizes however, but all the pics are at least 3 mb. You can use them completely without permission, for both personal and professional use.  There is also an option to tip the author via PayPal, which is always nice.

Pros:
  • Great stock images
  • Only one size of 3mb for images
  • Free for download and reproduction
  • One click download
  • Wide range of images
Reshot

Reshot was designed by creatives, for creatives. It’s a resource of emerging photographers and their works free to use. These pics are incredibly high quality, and each one credits their artist.  This is a great resource for those in the advertising world, who want to give others a hand up.

Pros:
  • Great stock images
  • By creative for creatives
  • Free for download and reproduction
  • One click download
  • Wide range of images
Gratisography

Gratis means “free” in a number of languages, which describes this site to a T. the images are all free, and all of high quality taken by professionals. Gratis prides itself in quirky, unique images that won’t be found anywhere else. These are not your usual stock photos that you can find on pretty much any site. As they say, stock images are a dime a dozen, you have read about many on this blog alone! Gratis knows this, and strives for something different.  They believe in quality over quantity, so expect thousands of pics of smiling stock families drinking stock coffee, or doing yoga in the rain.

The site was created by a guy called Ryan, who is a graphic and Web designer himself. A fun fact about Ryan is that he drives a 1971 VW Beetle that he has turned into a dinosaur, and another is that he has worn 50 bells around his ankles every day for the past 12 years.

Pros:
  • Totally unique site
  • Free for download and reproduction
  • One click download
  • Wide range of images
ISO Republic

ISO is another stock site with beautiful, free photos.  I quite like the textures offered in this site though, that does make it stand out from the rest a bit. It has everything that you would expect from an image stock site, from laptops to lamas. The Blog has some cool articles about photography, how to use it, and how to integrate it into your designs.

Pros:
  • Great stock images
  • Interesting Blog
  • Good texture offerings
  • Free for download and reproduction
  • One click download
  • Wide range of images
Pixabay

Pixabay, like Pexels, is huge. It’s one of the best known free stock image sites in the world. You will find pretty much everything here, although rather standard stock photography.  They boast over one million photos, so definitely go for quantity rather than anything niche. Pixabay does offer free vectors though, which is a nice touch. Finding good quality, actually free vectors can be a huge pain, so this is a great resource to keep in mind. You will have to sign up to access the high res versions though. Vectors can be downloaded in PNG format, but not EPS unless you create an account. The same goes for images. Which actually means that you cannot really get the vectors unless you sign up, although they are still free.

Pros:
  • Huge stock site
  • Over 1 million images
  • Free for download and reproduction of certain sizes only
  • Have to sign in for bigger pics and vectors
  • One click download
  • Wide range of images
Unsplash

Unsplash is another free stock image site where the photos have been gifted by the artists. This is, of course, a great way for the artists to get exposure. It boasts over 850 000 free pics, with no licenses attached. They are all pretty basic stock photos though, but you are guaranteed to find something that you can use.  They also have an online community of creatives who both upload and download pics, so if you are into photography it may be interesting to join. The images are downloaded with one click, which is nice and easy. Each artist is credited on their image, and you are given the choice to give them a nod.

Pros:
  • Great stock images
  • Choice to upload your own work
  • Over 850 000 images
  • Free for download and reproduction
  • One click download
  • Wide range of images
Free Images

Our last stock site, FreeImages has over 300 000 stock photos free to use. As with the others, you can use the pics for both personal and professional use, or distribute them.  You can also upload your work, and be seen by people all over the world. The images are all high res, and beautiful, although pretty standard stock pics.

Pros:
  • Great stock images
  • Upload your own work to gain exposure
  • Over 300 000 images
  • Free for download and reproduction
  • One click download
  • Wide range of images

And there you have it! A comprehensive list of stock image sites, to suit every taste. From dads to dugongs, you will most definitely find the image that you are looking for on one of these sites. Happy browsing!

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Introduction

So, you just completed your first project while applying your recently acquired knowledge in HTML, CSS and WordPress and would like to create a simple yet attractive website but you’re worried that this might be a challenge beyond your skills.

The aim of this article is to review 10 great minimalist websites that’ll hopefully inspire your next project and dispel any fears and give you the confidence to create an effective but simple design.

The purpose of a minimalist design is to create clean and user friendly interfaces by removing unnecessary elements or content that don’t contribute to the user’s needs.

Some of the key characteristics that these sites share is a design with flat textures and a limited color palette or even monochromatic ones.

Let’s go over the next 10 examples in search for inspiration

1. Grette

If there was an ideal checkbox list of all the characteristics and elements that a typical minimalist website should have (or rather shouldn’t), Grette’s page seems to tick almost every checkbox.

Grette is a law firm based in Oslo, their website has a slick design with a limited color palette and all the unnecessary elements have been stripped away, making it easy to browse the site.

If you read “Don’t Make Me Think” by Steve Krug you might remember his advice on making any button or clickable element obvious to the user.

Therefore, it’s quite remarkable how easy it is to identify which are clickable elements even when these have been deprived of borders and colors that would make them conspicuous.

It is also worth mentioning the maximized negative space (also known as white space), a common characteristic among minimalist websites that helps to draw attention to the important content.

2.Wild

Wild is a design and technology agency based in NYC and Vienna. As soon as the browser loads their site, you will immediately notice a monochromatic design (except for the portfolio) and the absence of a navigation menu that isn’t missed, it’s a single page website.

The amount of clickable elements has been reduced to the extreme, nevertheless navigating through the site is very simple. Just like in most of the other examples of this list, there’s flat patterns and textures.

3.Volta

Volta is a shoe’s brand that was founded in 2008 in Milan. Their site makes a very limited use of colors to focus the visitor’s attention on their products. Flat patterns and textures are the norm in this website.

A very succinct navigation (there’s only two sections: “shop” and “about”) is a main feature of this site and for a website that features e-commerce, the navigation for their products is unusually strimlined.

There’s an off the grid design in some of its sections, a characteristic shared by many minimalist websites.

4.Maaemo

There’s plenty of minimalist websites that belong to designers, artists and agencies but here is a great example of simplicity applied to a restaurant’s website.

MAAEMO is a norwegian 3 michelin starred restaurant and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that their website honours the creativity that’s required to achieve the most sought after award in cuisine.

It features a hidden navigation menu that allows the user to have an unrestricted view of the beautifully laid out content. It is worth noting the off the grid pattern of the pictures.

5.Kwell

Kwell is a furniture e-commerce site from Canada and it’s another great example of a use of bold typography to create visual interest.

There’s a hidden global navigation that helps to keep its design clean and simple, flat patterns and textures, and a limited use of colors in each page.

The pictures in its shop section are arranged in a grid pattern but with plenty of breathing space between them. Furthermore the products names, prices and basic characteristics are revealed only after you hover with the mouse on top of their pictures.

6.The Cool Club

Scales of gray and limited colors are ubiquitous in minimalist design, however The Cool Club has a website that honours their name with a colorful but simple page. It also breaks the norm with the inclusion of an animation.

Another rarity for a minimalist design is the use of shadows, which in this particular case are kept reasonably subtle.

7.Thrive Solo

Thrive solo is a business management tool for freelancers, it includes time management for different projects and even invoicing.

Their website is a fine example of monochromatic palette although not within the grey scale. It is surprisingly easy to read through their pages despite the peculiar choice of colors.

Once again, there’s flat patterns and textures and a very limited amount of elements in the navigation that contribute to a very pleasant user experience.

The use of call to action buttons is limited but effective, they are placed exactly where they should be and there’s the mandatory repetition of this fundamental element.

The CTAs are simple but a keen eye will notice the attention to detail that was put into them.

Switch between the home page and the “price and plans” page. There’s a subtle difference between the CTAs of both pages: Just one word that was by no means chosen randomly, because it really isn’t the same to write “start your trial” and “start your free” trial, especially when the button is an element in the pricing page.

It is worth noting that aside from a discrete logo that there’s no footer section in this website.

8.McKennaJones

McKennaJones is a insights, inspiration and ideas consultancy based in the UK.
This is another great example of a simple and effective design. Very few features except for those needed. Even the navigation bar has been trimmed to the very essential sections.

It is quite a remarkable achievement how the limited amount of content in the home page was dealt with. The design manages to be visually engaging even with a limited amount of photographs and text.

This is possible partly to a great use of typography. Bold large typography is being used to draw attention in the absence of photographs. The off grid layout also contributes to a good use of its limited content.

9.50/50Climate.org

50/50 Climate Project is a non-profit organization that helps institutional investors bring climate competence to corporate boards with the purpose to respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change.

Their website features a hidden navigation with its essential elements displayed in big, bold typography. This technique helps to communicate meaning and to deal with the negative space when the content is rather limited.

Once again, there’s a limited color palette and flat textures.
Limited amount of pictures would be an understatement since the number of photographs amount to a grand total of one per page.

10.Club of Waves

Last on the list is Club of the waves, a showcase of artists and photographers. The website makes good use of big typography and has an interesting layout of its elements. There’s no navigation bar in this site nevertheless, browsing through it is simple enough.

So, to recap: a great web design does not only have to look great, it also has to satisfy the user’s needs, meaning visitors have to easily find what they’re looking for.
It has to satisfy the website’s owner objectives. For these purposes there’s certain elements and characteristics that have to be present and some others that have to be excluded.

Flat textures and patterns are present in almost every modern minimalist design while skeuomorphic elements are absent. Clickable elements such as CTAs should be obvious but at the same time, simple.

The use of colors is limited and negative spaces are maximized.
The use of big typography is also very important to draw attention to where it’s needed and to compensate the lack of content.

Finally if you want to learn more about web design and how to make wonderful websites in short time with the minimum effort, check our web design courses:

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What is Brand Identity? To put it simply, brand identity is the entirety of how a brand looks, feels, and sounds. This includes logo, design, colors, videos, social media posts, adverts, marketing materials, and even to some extent the interior design of the store if the brand has one.

Branding identity is how the brand communicates with the world. Think of some of the biggest brands out there. Think Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola, and Starbucks. You know and remember these brands because of their strong branding and identity.

 How to Create a Brand Identity?Phase 1: Define your brand

Before even beginning to create your brand identity, you must first define and establish your brand strategy. A brand strategy is basically what a brand is in essence. It answers the questions of what the brand is, why it is, and who it’s for. The brand identity is just the way to communicate the core of what the brand actually is.

Brand strategy tends to include terms such as brand values, brand pillars, brand personality, and brand voice.

This tutorial will not go too in-depth with these terms, but we will help you define these terms in a simpler way. Basically, we need to answer these questions

  • “What is the brand?
  • “What do we do/serve?”
  • “Why do we do it?”
  • “Who do we do it for?”
  • “How do we do it?”

When working for a client, it’s best to ask these questions and have them provide you with as much of their branding strategy that they can provide.

For now, we will use EONS as an example. EONS is a 24 hour ramen diner and cafe focused on delivering a relaxing experience. It is for the young adults seeking to find some peace away from the stress of work by day or the noise of the party by night. It keeps pumping out a relaxing lo fi beats while engulfing the entire restaurant in a cozy neon glow.

  • What: 24 hour ramen diner and cafe
  • Why: To deliver a relaxing experience
  • Who: Young adults running from stress and noise
  • How: Food with lofi music and neon lights

Another important thing to establish is the brand personality. Imagine the brand as a human. How would our brand talk? How would they look? Are they friendly, shy, outgoing, clever? Knowing these will help us communicate the way the brand should look and feel in the brand identity.

EONS’ brand personality is

  • Imaginative
  • Relaxed
  • Thoughtful
Phase 2: Find inspiration and build a moodboard

After establishing the basics of the brand strategy, we move on to begin with the actual design.

Mainly, we start with the logo. The logo is usually the face of the brand. It is what we remember first when we mention a brand name. Think of the simple Apple logo, or the iconic Nike swoosh.

Before even beginning with the logo design though, we must first find some inspiration for it and the rest of the core designs of the brand.

A great place to find inspiration is Pinterest. Always refer to the branding strategy when searching for inspiration.

When trying to inspire oneself, it is best to create a moodboard. A moodboard contains imagery and sources that are relevant to the look, feel, essence, and personality of the brand. It’s best to list down the most relevant words that are related to the brand. Keep the moodboard as consistent as possible. It is supposed to evoke the feeling of the brand and inspire you to create the designs.


In EONS’ case, since we know what style we are going for, the main words we used are:

  • Neon logo
  • Ramen logo
  • Lofi aesthetic
  • Neon aesthetic

Since EONS was heavily related to the idea of having lofi music being played, we even spent time to listen to lofi music while finding inspiration. Give this playlist a listen while you’re going through this article.

Phase 3: Sketching

Once you have been inspired, it is time to channel the creativity into existence. Get a piece of paper and a pen. Sit down and sketch as many logo ideas as you can. Draw the same logo over and over again in different variations. Try new things. You want to draw a neon potato or a giant noodle T-Rex? Doesn’t matter. Just sketch it.

Here are some sketches we drew during the sketching phase.

If you somehow prefer sketching digitally, that’s fine too. Whatever floats your boat as long as you make some sketches and different logo variations.

Phase 4: Illustrator Setup

Before we begin with the actual design work, you might be interested in seeing the final files for this project. If so, you can download it here.

When you’re done sketching, evaluate the sketches you’ve made and see which one is most relevant to the brand that also looks the best. Scan it or take a photo of it and put it into illustrator.

Other people will tell you to reprint the logo and draw on it and plan the shapes of the logo. That’s good and all, but I truly believe that there is no better way of shaping a logo than just getting on with it and actually building it on illustrator. Of course it’s good to plan the shapes of the logo and it is a must to do, but one can do that on illustrator too.

During this step, you might still be having some new logo ideas. If you have time, go ahead and sketch them out some more. It’s good to create different versions of the logo to see which one actually looks best.

There are the 3 logo variations we made for the EONS logo, but we’ll only be going through the one we actually used as the EONS logo. We’ll show you the step by step process we made this logo.

There are many ways to set up an illustrator file, but my personal preference is to make it in Web Large, 1920×1080 px. It might seem too big for most, but this is the size I am comfortable with. It’s big and gives plenty of room for editing. Following this will help in Keyboard Increment in later steps of this tutorial.

Once it’s opened, create a dark box colored in a shade of black(#0c0c0c). Lock the layer by going to the layers panel and clicking the empty gray box to the right side of the “eye”. It’s also best to rename the layer into “Background”.

Phase 5: Logotype

The very first part of the logo that we created was the logotype. We knew we were going for a neon aesthetic, but we also wanted to give it a slight twist. The logo needed a neon feel even without the usual illustrator effects that goes with neon logos and signs.

We played around with different fonts until we found the perfect one. After a while, we went with Lato Black and colored it a shade of pink (#fe6bdf) Since it was supposed to be neon, the logo needed to feel like a line. Lato Black was too thick while filled in, so we changed it into an outline. Neon lights don’t have any sharp edges since it’s made of glass, so we’ll have to change that as well. Select the EONS text and go to the properties bar at the ride side of your screen. Increase the stroke width to 3pt. Click on “Stroke” and at the “Corner” options, click the middle “Rounded Join” option.

We make a copy of the original logotype and put it on the side for backup in case we make any mistakes. Always do this when you’re working on your own projects to make sure you have something to go back to in case you make any mistakes.

Now, in the original EONS logotype, select the edges of the letters and pull it in slowly to make a very slight curve. The differences are subtle, but noticeable.

This is essentially the basic EONS logotype, but it’s not finished yet. The actual EONS logo has 3 layers, each having a different color. We’ll get into how we found our color palette later on, but for the sake of continuity, we’ll just say we already have a color palette.

We select and copy the original EONS logo with “cmnd/ctrl+V” then place it on top of itself by pressing “cmnd/ctrl+F”. Take the selection tool and don’t select anything. Look at the properties tab on the right side of your screen. Go to “Keyboard Increment” and make sure it has 1px.

Now select the copy of the logo that you placed on top of the original logo. To do this, simply click on it. Do not drag a rectangle selection on it as it will also select the original logo underneath it.

Now that you have it selected, move it 2 points downwards by pressing the down arrow key twice. Now change its color to a shade of blue (#93edff).

For the blue logotype, do the same as the original pink logo. Put a copy of it on top of itself, move it 2 points downward and change its color to a shade of purple (#9386ff).

Now the logotype is almost done. All we have to do now is to make a copy of it in case we have to go back to it again. Then we expand the logotype. Select all 3 layers of the EONS logo, go to the Objects menu, and select “Expand”.

Expanding is important whenever creating a logo. It’s best to have 1 expanded and 1 non-expanded logo. When you expand a logo, it means that no matter how much you resize it up or down, the proportions will be the same. Thick lines will get thicker evenly, or get smaller evenly. If you don’t expand it, no matter how much bigger you make an object, it will remain the same width.

We’re done with the logotype. Yay! Make sure to save it. Also, try to make a habit of saving every 5 minutes to make sure things are saved in case your illustrator or computer crashes.

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 Phase 6: Logomark

Now we head on to the logomark. The logomark is steamy hot ramen noodles inside a coffee bowl. (Coffee bowl?! Yes, those exist.)

When building anything on illustrator, it’s important to understand that everything is made out of shapes. It’s important to plan out those shapes. In this logomark’s case, this is how the shapes look like.

In this phase, we’re going to build that exact same outline you see above in order to create the logomark. For the first step, we make a big circle that’s about 300 x 300 px big.

Draw a horizontal line that cuts through the center of the circle.

Using the selection tool, select both the circle and the horizontal line. While selected, press “shift+M” on your keyboard to access the shape builder tool. Hold the “alt” key and click on the upper half of the circle. This part of the circle should disappear. Now, if there are any extra lines at the left or right side of the horizontal line that exceed the width of the circle, click on these while holding alt as well. The result should look like a bowl or a grin.

Next, we will draw the cup bowl holder. Make a circle that’s around 48 x 48 px big. And place it to the right side of the bowl, with the left side of the circle slightly inside the bowl.

Duplicate the small circle and place the new circle in this position.

Now select both circles with the selection tool. Be careful not to select the bowl. Once the two circles are selected, use the shape builder tool using “shift+M” and erase the left sides of the circle until there’s a crescent left on the right side.

Now, using the direct selection tool, select the point that’s at the center of the inner crescent. Once selected, press “delete” on your keyboard to remove it. It should look like this now.

Select the bowl and the cup holder and group them togethe using “cmnd/ctrl+G”.Next, we’re going to make the noodles inside the bowl. The noodles are actually just circles. For this, we start with the smallest circle. Make a circle that’s 26 x 26 px.

The distances of each circle from one another will be the same size as this circle. To do this, duplicate the circle on top of itself. Drag the copy to the right of the circle. To ensure the circle doesn’t move vertically, hold “shift” while dragging it. Align the outer rims of the two circles so that they touch each other perfectly. To ensure the circles are actually touching perfectly, we can go to outline view. Press “cmnd+Y” on Mac or “ctrl+Y” on Windows.

Now, holding “alt+shift” drag the right circle more to the right and align the outer rims again. Holding “alt” and dragging an object duplicates it. Holding “shift” while dragging will snap the object to one direction, horizontal or vertical.

These 3 circles are merely a measurement of distance for each of the noodle circles. Now it’s time to make the actual circles. Select the first circle we made and duplicate it on top of itself. If you’ve forgotten how to do this, it’s “cmnd/ctrl+C” then “cmnd/ctrl+F”.

Select the new circle, hold “alt+shift” and drag the corner points of the selection outwards to enlarge the object. Make sure to align the circle to the outer rim of the second smaller circle we made earlier. Duplicate the circle again and do the same to make a bigger circle that aligns to the rim of the outer smaller circle. It should look like this when you’re done.

Delete the smaller circles we made earlier except for the center circle. Select all three circles that are left and align their center to the horizontal line on the bowl. This has to be done perfectly. If you’re struggling on aligning the circles to the bowl then you can do the following.

Select the selection tool and go to properties. On “Keyboard Increment” put “0.1px”. Select the circles, group them with “cmnd/ctrl +G” and drag them down near the line then slowly inch them in using your keyboard arrows.

Now we have to align circles to the vertical center of the bowl. To do this, select the circles and the bowl. On the options menu at the top of the screen, you will see a small box that looks like a selection. Click on this and select “Align to Key Object”.

Now click on the bowl and press the “Horizontal Align Center” button. It should look like two boxes on a stick.

Now select the bowl and the circles and take the shape builder tool using “shift+M”. Drag your mouse on the lower halves of the circles and the bowl.

This merges the lower halves of the circles to the bowl. The upper halves of the circle and the bowl are now grouped. Select the circles and the bowl, right click on them and click “Ungroup”.

Take the selection tool and go to properties and change the “Keyboard Increment” to 1px. Select the now semi-circles and move them upwards by 10px. Do this by pressing your up arrow on your keyboard 10 times.

Now take your direct selection tool by pressing “A” and click on the horizontal line at the bottom of the semicircles and press delete on your keyboard. This should make the line disappear. You may notice that there will be a line left from the second semicircle. Click on this horizontal line again and delete it. Do this once more on the smallest semicircle.

Select the semicircles and hold “alt+shit” on your keyboard. Now press your left arrow key 7 times. Select the center semicircle again and do the same on the right arrow key.

Select the center group of semicircles. Hold “shift” on your keyboard and press the up arrow on your keyboard 3 times.

Now, with the selection tool, double click the biggest semicircle on the right. This should isolate the selection. Click on the big semicircle again and copy it with “cmnd/ctrl + C”.

Double click anywhere outside of the semicircle to exit isolation mode. Now paste the semicircle we copied on top of itself using “cmnd/ctrl +F”. Select the new semicircle and hold “alt+shift” and select the upper right corner of the selection box. Expand it outwards until the left side of the selected semicircle touches the right side of the left side semicircle. That might sound confusing so let me just show you.

Now do the same for the left most semicircle. Once done, it should look like this.

Now select the two semicircles we just made (colored in red) and the top group of semicircles. Once selected, take the shape builder tool, hold alt, and remove excess parts to make it look like this.

Select the lines indicated in red on the image..

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So you’re curious about all the hype surrounding LinkedIn’s latest addition? LinkedIn Pages is definitely a game changer and here’s why…

Platforms like Facebook, Instagram and other Social Networking sites offer the modern day business a variety of very useful marketing tools. Unfortunately, the average newsfeed has, regrettably, become oversaturated with cringe-worthy adverts and boring, unreliable “news”. I know that I am almost immune to FB ads now. There are just so many of them.

Let’s be honest, pretty much everyone is using Instagram paid ads to promote their latest side gig/ hobby blog/ company.

Facebook is saturated with pages that were built for companies created a whole 2 seconds ago. Social media has become almost painful to navigate and quite frankly a lot like one big spam invasion of our digital senses.

But is there something we can do better?….yup!

Enter LinkedIn Pages. This sophisticated approach to Digital Marketing is beautifully simplistic, radically effective and extremely user friendly. It will go a long way to helping your clients get the exposure that the want and need. In the past, LinkedIn was known as just a place to post your CV but over the years it has advanced into a professional social network that is home to over 500 million users!

I know, you’re probably sitting at your desk thinking “Well that’s all very well, but is it actually any good or at all useful? ” Read on dear reader, and explore the world of LinkedIn Pages, and how you can use them for the benefit of your clients.

“Taking Online Marketing to the next level”

 Not your average Social Media Page
 

The Site itself was created as a digital community for Job seekers and Industry Professionals to network and market themselves to other Industry professionals. Users create a profile that acts as their online business card as well as offering an overview of their resume. Added to this, LinkedIn offers its users tools to “boost potential and maximize success” within the job seekers specific Industry.

The most obvious being the easily accessible quality content users are provided with. This you can manipulate to bring people to your client’s proverbial front door.

There is everything from information on productivity to how to’s for job interviews and even information on self-confidence and self-care. Users are met with mountains of opportunities to grow themselves and their business.

“Profile Completion Meter”

That provides users with personalized suggestions for improving their profile.

There is also a tool that helps users find out who has searched and viewed their profile and how they came across the user’s profile. This can be particularly useful in seeing who is interested in your client’s page. I personally love using this as a form of market research, to see where my strongest performance lies.

LinkedIn Pages have been created to offer the equivalent of this, but for organizations. Where LinkedIn profiles promote individual professionals and their resumes, LinkedIn Pages offer various platforms for these organizations to market themselves to those individuals.

The base of this is a page that has your basics, such profile and cover picture with Bio.  This is where companies get to share their story and what they’re about. Features like “Showcase Pages” give your business the option to create different campaigns to promote to different buyer personas. This is where you as a Digital Marketer comes in. You create, and manage this for your clients.

For example

Your client could be a sporting goods company that has different pages allocated for football accessories, ice hockey gear, swimming essentials and baseball related products for example. Instead of having to aim all of its campaigns at all buyer personas, you create separate campaigns to target specified personas.

The result is effective and direct marketing which of course equals sales for your client.

LinkedIn Ads

give you the option to pay to reach a specified market or persona outside of your current followers. This would create more followers and again equals sales for your client.

LinkedIn Analytics

give you access to information about your  client’s current followers and their interaction with their page and content. This info can be used to formulate new and better ideas for marketing campaigns, ultimately resulting in… sales, of course!

In reality, using this to promote your client’s product is pretty simple. You create the page following the prompts on LinkedIn. Once you have done that you can then choose to market to a certain audience. This is all done via built in marketing tools such a page views tool, and visitor metrics. I find it almost easier than creating a FB page.                                    

How to do this

Your first task should be getting your client’s LinkedIn Page set up and running. As a Social Media Manager your job is to create a captivating online presence. Work with your client to select a professional logo image, cover image and compile a bio that pulls the viewer in.

From there you can develop the products and services sections of the page.

Once the page is running smoothly you can work together with your client to use the helpful analytics to choose marketing strategies.

“Companies get to share their story and connect with a professional community of over 500 million users”

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It’s all about Community

The general demographic on LinkedIn is business orientated. With today’s emphasis being on productivity and time management, users are hungry for relative, informative and ultimately real content.

Gone are the days where they sat back and just put up with rubbish adverts being forced upon them like Aunty Carols special meatloaf pie! They are selective and cut-throat, and that means there is no room for nonsense. This is where LinkedIn really differs from other social networks, and you can use this to your professional advantage.

Users are met with content that is only professional, relevant and useful. This is where LinkedIn Pages join the community by offering valuable, no nonsense content. The more relevant and helpful content a Page provides, the more reach it will have.

When you use LinkedIn Pages for your clients, you gain access to a wide variety of tools to help you to understand their market and what content should be created and shared. This is a very key factor in starting an ongoing conversation, engaging your audience and growing reach.

A really great feature worthy of mention is the Suggested Content feature.

It’s a  very easy to use option that gives users a list of trending topics and simply suggests articles relevant to followers and then gives projected analytics. Use this to engage people to your client’s page

If the topic “workplace productivity” has been trending with your client’s followers in the last 7 days, the feature will give you a list of related articles to share. Simply select the audience you would like to reach, explore what is trending in their neck of the woods, and share it! This way their page is constantly updating its content as well as being relevant. I love to share articles on current Digital Marketing trends.

For example

An article on “Sports equipment innovations” would be perfect to share for your sporting client..  And don’t forget the good old hashtag!

Although useful on many social media sites, on LinkedIn the hashtag is GOLD. Users rely heavily on selecting hashtags to follow that will fill their newsfeed with the type of content they are searching for.

To give you an idea

The tag #Business is one of the leading hashtags on LinkedIn but it wouldn’t relate to our sporting goods client. I would use something more along the lines of #Fit #IceHockey #Fun #Train #FitGoals #ItsGoTime to be more aligned to the kind of content followers in the Sporting Goods Field are after.

How to do this

You could agree on a list of hashtags relative to the target markets current trends. You could then re-use these tags consistently when you are managing your client’s LinkedIn profiles as a Social Media Manager.

“LinkedIn Pages empower your organization to engage the world’s professional community”

Your people

The other aspect of community that is blowing up around LinkedIn Pages is the online engagement of an organization’s inner network. This is a really important factor when it comes to growing Brand Awareness.

Now more than ever before, organizations are being measured by employee job satisfaction levels. If employees are happy, it will show and they will be promoting brand awareness without trying in the slightest.

✓ One of your client’s people may have been given the opportunity to attend a beneficial seminar. She posts about it and includes your client’s hashtag.

✓ Or a successful team effort leads to achieving that almost impossible month end target – Post an update that mentions the team and starts a conversation.

As a possible customer or lead, nothing pulls you in more than seeing real life accounts of how great a company is.  

Through employee engagement around a company page you can really enhance the sense of community within the company. This boosts morale and productivity, at the same time growing outside brand awareness and reach.  

A potential follower is easily directed to a Company Page when visiting an employee’s profile by simply clicking the company icon in the employee’s bio. This is great for your client’s web presence.

By sharing a simple PDF to the inner network or creating hype around a new product or development with employees and followers, the options to enhance functionality and engage your client’s people and their network are endless.

How to do this:

The obvious first step here would be to make sure your client is encouraging employees to follow the company page on LinkedIn. A simple and effective way to do this would be by creating a precise but captivating infographic that outlines the benefits of employees following the company’s LinkedIn page. This can be sent out in a mail, or reviewed in weekly meet-up.

From there you can work with your client on some ideas to get the company page’s internal conversation flowing. My clients have constant reviews with their staff to gauge, and reward interaction.

“Employees typically have 10 times the social reach of their company”

Putting it into practice

So now you have an idea of how LinkedIn pages work, and what they can do for you as a Digital Marketer. Now you need to put all this into practice, and use this as a tool to further your Digital Marketing career. Remember that as a successful Digital Marketer you need to have a number of tools in your “tool belt” ready to go in order to offer the best service to your clients, and attract  more.

The best way to start would be to assess your clients business. Do they have particular niches? Let’s go back to our sporting goods example.

✓ Set up an overarching page that introduces them as a whole.

✓ From there, set up niche pages for each section e.g. swimming, baseball and hockey.

✓ Make sure that each page is linked back to the main page.

✓ Check the suggested content section for your client’s audience every day and update each pages content accordingly.

✓ Ensure that your client’s employees are following the page and interact with it on a regular basis.

✓ Keep attracting new prospects and interest to your client’s pages with constant content updates, which are relevant and interesting, and resharing positive mentions of your clients business from their own employees and clients.

All of this is great for attracting new clients too. If your client has an e-commerce site and you link it back to their LinkedIn Page, they stand a much greater chance of it being seen by many more people. Use successful LinkedIn pages that you run as advertising for yourself as a Digital Marketer. Nothing sings your praises more than successful campaigns and happy clients!

And the best part of it all?

LinkedIn Pages is extremely easy to use!

LinkedIn has made the task of setting up a page and running the account an absolute dream. Simply add some professional images, company logos and designs along with a strategic company Bio and you have yourself the perfect platform to work from.

Make use of the helpful features I mentioned earlier and you’re good to go!

If you are running more than one page for client’s and are worried about having enough time dedicated to each one, never fear! You can set aside as little as 5-10 minutes a day per page using the straight forward tools to post and share. I spend a whole ten minutes a day on a page, and see results.

If you’re a bigger business with a Marketing Team of specialists, there are an interminable amount of practical and effective resources available to tap into and stay up to date with. Make use of consumer Insights to generate concrete leads.

I could go on singing LinkedIn Pages’ praises all day. I’m definitely a fan and, to be quite honest, if you’re not already making use of this spectacular reserve of online business tools and opportunities, I strongly suggest you do.

Remind yourself you are in it for the long run and it’s all part of how to become a digital marketer.

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The biggest pet peeves of being a startup can be getting things done with limited manpower and finances. While you are doing your best to grow your business, you don’t want to trade off the quality of your work. Here is when having a functional tool handy can work wonders for you.

Although in this era of technology we have plenty of tools available, the challenge here is to find free useful tools.

That goes without saying that as a startup you have your hands full and it can be hard to sit down and try all the tools by yourself. Here is where webcourses come to your rescue.

Here I have put together some of the best tools I have found and used recently.

Upcounsel

Getting legal paperwork done for your projects is something inevitable and can take up a good amount of money. While you are doing your best in order to grow your business, getting stuck in any legal matter is the last thing you need

Upcounsel is an online marketplace where you can get legal advice and hire an attorney.

To receive the proposals from potential attorneys all you have to do is answer a questionnaire and submit it. The main concern I had while trying this out is how will I convey my needs and background over an application. But their prepared questionnaire provided some assurance. It had all the possible questions some of that didn’t even occur to me. It also allows you to describe your requirements in detail that too without minimum letters required.

You must be wondering what if you have something existing going on and just need someone to go over it. You can use it to review your existing agreement without any prior commitment. You can take as much time as you need before deciding to hire someone as they don’t have any minimum duration. If you liked someone’s work before getting assistance from your previous attorney is as easy as hitting the rehire button.

Upcounsel is worth considering if you are wrestling to get your legal things right.

And that’s it! Hopefully, your students will leave your classroom smiling with joy at their new found skill and love of HTML.

WCBProTip: Check out Upcounsel startup law resources. It gives you all the information you need to know about employment law, venture capital, financing, business operation, human resources and so on.

 Betalist

At betalist, you can list your startup and spread the word among the tech enthusiasts who might be interested in your product. It’s a fantastic way to put your user testing skills at use and a great place to get easy access to cool new things.

To put it in simple words it’s basically twittering for startups. Betalist posts upcoming startups almost every day and makes it easy to keep track of what’s trending. If you are a startup yourself you can post your startup ideas here and let people comment on it giving you the opportunity to see the potential of your idea.

If you fancy being a part of a startup and help taking it up to the next level, Betalist provides a job portal focused solely on fastest growing technology startups.

As I dig dipper I came to realize that their submission goes through a rigorous screening process. Which makes sure we get our hands on the best things available in the market.

Join Betalist and be up to date on what’s trending.

WCBProTip: Go to their Markets category in navigation. It allows browsing startups by different industries. So you can see what is trending in the industry you are planning to launch your own startup.

 Angellist

Angellist is LinkedIn for startups which makes it an ideal hangout place for people with early stage startup. If you are an individual looking for opportunities or a company it works both ways.

Good amount of similarities between Angellist and Linkedin made me wonder is it really worth it to invest time and energy in it? Well, it is. It turned out to be a great place to find out which investors are investing in startups similar to yours. Now let’s have a closer look at how it is done.

As a startup, it can be super hard to get access to venture capital. Angellist makes it accessible for you by joining the capital from smaller investors. As a result, helping smaller startups to get funded. Once you identify your potential investors you can use your LinkedIn profile to make your foundation.

Incubator listing is one of it’s not so widely known feature.  “With AngelList you can directly import your LinkedIn profile.”

WCBProTip: Make your Angellist profile with compelling information, make sure you follow all the potential investors, founders and so on. Then you can make a warm introduction using your LinkedIn profile.

 Hemingway

The fundamental purpose of any writer is to make their readers happy.

Hemingway editor helps you make your writing bold and clear. You can write directly or just copy and paste your already written content. It highlights complex sentences, passive voices, suggests simple alternatives in different colors and also grades your readability.

You can use Hemingway offline which gives you the liberty to work anywhere. Even if you are not a professional writer you can use it to form your emails or proposals.

#WCBProTip: Buy Hemingway editor 3 to publish directly to WordPress and also for the rest of the web.

 Carrd

If you are a startup or a freelancer your digital appearance really matters these days.

Carrd lets you create simple, responsive and functional websites for free.

I have tried Carrd for you and loved it. You can create profiles, one-page sites or even a landing page either by editing their template or you can start from scratch. Their editing process is easy to follow and you can build up to 3 sites per account for free

Their free version offers a lot and you can upgrade to their pro version for just $19 per year. Upgraded version lets you create a page with Carrd using your own domain, as well as getting access to up to 10 Carrd sites per account, domain support, form elements (like MailChimp), widget elements (like a PayPal button or Typeform), Google Analytics, larger images and GIFs, and more.

#WCBProTip: Go to guides on their website and get step by step instructions on how you can use a custom domain and setup google analytics.

 Promo

Promo by slidely is an amazing service which offers a huge collection of ready to use promotional videos.

When it comes to advertising we all know that video is a very powerful tool. Their videos are so engaging when I first opened promo I literally spent an hour just watching. Now imagine one of your potential customer watching your product video and not being able to forget it.  

To create an advertising video just like the TV commercial, all you have to do is select a premade video, choose the background music from their extensive music library, enter your message, logo and there you go. You have a professional promotional video ready complete with a lifetime license.   

Try Promo for free without any credit card required and then you can subscribe to one of their really affordable packages. 

If you’re interested in creating high quality videos yourself, you might want to check our Photography Essentials Course or Adobe Premiere Course.

WCBProTip: Promo offers an amazing feature called Calendar. Here you can follow their calendar and use their content suggestions every day. Best to boost your social media presence.

 Coverr


Putting a hero image for your homepage is old news now. Now it’s time to shine with cover videos.

Coverr offers a selection of free stock videos that does not look like stock. You can use for it for your projects, facebook cover or even as your website’s homepage cover with no attribution required. 

To use it for your website all you have to do is download the video, upload it to your website and copy the given snippet.

WCBProTip: You can use Coverr videos for your next marketing campaign and make an amazing commercial.

 Just Good Copy
 

This is a super simple one-page website and just like the name suggest it includes copies of really good emails.

Emails are a very good way to communicate with customers. But you don’t need to spend money on a copywriter in order to have a professionally written email. You can pick a tag and get inspired by the emails of well-established companies. 

If you eager to learn more about digital marketing you will find this article very interesting – How to become a digital marketer .

WCBProTip: Go to their invitation tag. They have a very well formatted email from slack to invite the leads for the free trials.

 The Name App

This is kind of a given. The right name for your venture can be something very dear to you.

Just enter the name you wish to keep as your domain or username. You can check its availability on all the major platforms at the same time with just one click.

WCBProTip: Once you find out the availability of your name, by clicking the link below you can purchase the domain.

 Real Time Board

For any startup to achieve its success teamwork is really crucial. Everything you work on is interconnected so it is important for your team to be on the same page.

Real Time Board is the online whiteboard where your team can create, collaborate and integrate. It lets your team jot down ideas, leave feedbacks, create mockups, wireframing, sitemaps, business models, product roadmap, project outline, and all collaborative activities.

You can share pictures, videos, google drive or documents. You can add your favorite application or tool as a plugin so there is no need to switch between tabs. Their customizable toolbar allows you to add shortcuts and keep your tool handy.  Present directly from Real Time Board or export and save as PDF.

It is updated in real time. It is one whiteboard where you can never run out of space. Real Time Board is very flexible. It works for simply brainstorming with your team or even to plan huge projects. Well optimized for mobile, giving you the liberty to work on the go.

It might look messy at first and will take some getting used to.

WCBProTip: Real Time Board offers integration with trello. Simply go to your trello board menu → go to powerups → enable Real Time Board. Now you can easily attach your boards with trello cards. No need switch between two tools.

So that is it for this month’s selection of tools for startups, creatives, and savvy users. If you find the listed tools and applications helpful please let us know. We would love to know your feedback and it will also inspire the rest of the readers.

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There are many businesses that require a website. Either a new one or a complete redesign. Most people searching for a web designer would prefer to reach out to someone they know and trust to complete the work.

So, are you discoverable? Do friends and family know that you have launched a web design career?

We are providing this step-by-step guide on how to create a professional presence on LinkedIn, billed as the world’s largest professional network. Enabling you to share your great skills so those valuable new clients can find and hire you.

A few steps to follow:

  • Be clear on your marketing strategy
  • Get on LinkedIn and create your own killer profile
  • Connect to potential clients and start meaningful conversations
  • Create a business page
Creating a LinkedIn StrategyKnow how to add value for your ideal client

When creating a successful LinkedIn strategy, planning is key.

The best place to start is to imagine who your ideal client is and what they need. Once you’ve got this sorted, the rest of your strategy will flow naturally from these key points.

Don’t be afraid to go into detail when imagining your client. You need to think deeply about what their needs are in order to target them effectively. Creating a marketing persona can be a great way of doing this.

Creating a marketing persona can be a great way of figuring out your customers’ needs

Creating a strategy requires organising all of the different ideas and solutions you have and then determining how they can best be utilised by your prospective clients. Your strategy is just for you.

What problem does the client have that you can solve?

Potential clients are going to respond a lot better to your message if you offer them help. Acknowledging issues they might be having and offering solutions will earn you trust and huge amounts of brownie points in terms of customer satisfaction.

Do you research and make sure you identify and anticipate the problems they are facing. For example, in the case of web design, your client’s site might have a high bounce rate, it might be failing to attract the right audience or they may not even have a website at all.

Drawing up a list of these issues will help keep your strategy focused on what is really important to them.

How can you solve the problem for them?

Now you know what your audience’s problems are, you better make sure you have some solutions to offer them.

Be prepared to make a clear case on how you can fix their problem. Maybe by designing and building an amazing website, that attracts customers, which leads to sales. Incorporate this information into your profile.

Make sure your solutions are measurable — your client will want to be able to check whether they have worked or not. Also, remember to keep them relevant. Don’t try and stuff in additional services they don’t need.

Having a list of problems and solutions will be useful to you beyond LinkedIn. For one, it will help you deal with customer inquiries far more efficiently as you will be able to recognise which category of problem you are dealing with and quickly provide the appropriate solution.

Find your niche market

Understanding your niche gives valuable focus to your marketing efforts. Understand what your interests are. Use your innate passion to work in an area that you enjoy.

Utilise any previous work and industry experience you have to offer web development services in this area.

If you already have a portfolio of websites in a specific industry, then use that as a starting point for your niche.

However, don’t pigeonhole yourself. Be clear that you are open to opportunities in any area.

Google’s Keyword Planner is an easy and free tool to carry out keyword research to understand what your prospects are searching for.

In this example, searching for “web developer New York” brings up a number of options, along with the number of searches per month.

We can see that “web developer New York” has around 100-1000 searches per month. Whereas “web design nyc” is the top hit with 1,000 – 10,000 searches.

Take some time to do your research and truly understand what your intended audience is searching for. Use the relevant keywords effectively through all of your web presence. This will enable you to find more leads for your business that are relevant to your niche.

Quick Tip: Keep a list of target keywords and search volumes for easy reference.

Define your ideal client

Get into detail. Have a definition of who your ideal client would be.

Some examples could be:

  • A small business with 1-5 people.
  • A fitness business to fit with your already completed fitness websites.
  • A business that values their web presence
  • A client that is prepared to invest in SEO and Social Media

Centre all your content creation and marketing material around these values you have defined.

Name and Images: Professional Headshot

It is highly recommended to invest in a professional headshot. Taking time to do this will help prospective clients to know you love what you do and will invest time and money in it.

Quick Tip: A headshot should be a recent photo, professionally taken. Dress appropriately for your industry. The ideal photo size is 400 x 400 pixels.

Headline

Be specific on who you serve and what you can do for them.

Remember your marketing strategy and ideal client you specified? Make sure that your headline is specific and focused on what your ideal client will be searching for.

Summary

How you can serve the client. Be clear on what you can do for them. Establish your mission and accomplishments. There are some excellent examples on LinkedIn that show clear direction.

Quick Tip: If you have a 30 second elevator speech, use this as basis for your summary.

Another example:

In this summary area you can also add in media files, graphics, links to websites you designed etc.

Have relevance

Be clear that you are Freelance and are open to work opportunities. Have a heavy focus on the keywords you have identified through your research. Such as, web design Bangkok.

Contact information

Use an email address that most current contacts would find you with, as this is a good way for people to connect. Ensure that you respond promptly to any incoming messages or connection requests. For a client, speed may be of the essence.

Experience

As you would in a resume, list all work experience.

Make sure you include work from any previous career path. Valuable connections may come from colleagues of prior companies. Also, it gives a sense of your experience in different industries.

Skills

There are hundreds of skill options to choose from on LinkedIn. Again, remember your keywords and your focused marketing. We have created some common skill examples you may wish to use:

Quick Tip: Clarify your top 3 skills, show your clients what you are really focused on.

Location

List any geographical location you would prefer to work in. Also, say you can work worldwide if you are comfortable doing a whole website project remotely.

It is worth checking on your keyword research if there are a higher volume of searches for a major town near to you, or a district, rather than the small town you may reside in.

For example, if I do keyword research on “web developer Carmel Indiana” – the small town where I live, there are 0-10 monthly searches. However, if I search for Indianapolis, the largest nearby city, there are 10-100.

Education

Don’t underestimate the importance of education on LinkedIn. List all the educational institutes you attended. 

This might seem strangely irrelevant but LinkedIn makes a big deal of this. It lists how many people attended the same college as you on company profile pages and more importantly, makes recommended connections based on a shared educational background.

One of those four people could turn into a useful connection

This not only helps to build trust but opens up a huge network of alumni to you. A network that is a lot easier to tap into than most too.

Writing a connection message referencing how terrible the food was or the outrageous dress sense of an eccentric professor is a relatively quick and easy way to build a rapport.

Languages

Fluency in another language is very valuable. Even if you have basic knowledge it can still be a great asset and point of interest.

Projects/Portfolio

In this section you can add any projects, publications etc. that you have created. Use the “Add Profile section” dropdown menu.

Choosing to add a project will bring you to this simple form to fill. You can list the URL of the web project or design that you have worked on.

Quick Tip: You can place media files in the summary section, as previously discussed. These appear at the top of your profile, so are more noticeable.

This will then be displayed on your profile under accomplishments as so…

Make sure you have a URL

You can set the URL of your profile to make it less generic. This URL will look better on a business card or as a web link.

Keep your profile SEO friendly

Test out keyword searches through LinkedIn, such as “Web Designer Bangkok”. See what position you turn up in.

Go back to your marketing keywords and ensure they are in your profile. Have a colleague check it over to see anything you may have missed.

Quick Tip: Hide ‘people also viewed’ section of your profile. It just advertises your competition.

Select relevant hashtags

LinkedIn will suggest hashtags for you, based on your profile.

In my personal experience, once I added hashtags to my profile, it completely altered my recommended connections and news feed.

You can also search on a hashtag you are interested in.

Other sections you can add: volunteer experience, publications, certifications, patents, courses, projects, honors and awards, organizations.

Quick Tip: Complete your profile. Completed profiles are ranked higher on search results so are more visible in LinkedIn.

Harness the power of your current networkUse email contacts to find current connections

LinkedIn provides a handy feature to sync up all your email contacts. Allowing you to easily find those people you email regularly. First provide your email address, then sign in and give permission for LinkedIn to access your email contacts.

This will bring up a list of contacts for you to connect directly with.

Reach out to them – send a connection request

Customise the connection request to explain how you know the person, if it is not immediately obvious to them. Overall, keep it from being a sales pitch and suggest some part of connecting that would benefit them.

Quick Tip: Always personalise the connection request.

Search past employers/colleges for people you may know

Search by employer:

Search by your college or place of education:

Making connections in your target market

Now we have a great LinkedIn profile with valuable connections, it is time to create more leads based on our marketing strategy.

Acquire more leads for your business

It is generally recommended to spend around 10-20 minutes each day on LinkedIn, finding and connecting to expand your network.

Try to add around 5-10 new contacts a day until you reach around 100 pending requests.

Sending too many all at once may have the site admin marking you as spam. A little and often is always a good strategy.

As an example, if I search for a target market of “Wellness Indianapolis”, this will bring up a variety of search results.

At the top of the listing are those that are directly connected to me. Aim your initial connections at those that are 2nd and 3rd removed from you. Then you already have a mutual connection.

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How to talk to your target audience

Once you have some prospective targets, then create a personalised connection request. Use the strategy of connecting first and then messaging once the connection is established.

Remember to offer some benefit of the connection to them, don’t just sell them your service.

Further detailed examples are shown on this helpful article Brian Downward LinkedIn connection.

Endorse your connectionsGive endorsement on your connections’ skills

They may just give you the same in return. Having skill endorsements on your profile will increase your credibility with potential clients.

LinkedIn has now made it super easy to provide endorsements to your connections. As long as they have their skills set up and have their settings to allow you to endorse, then you can just hit the ‘+’ mark on those skills you wish to endorse.

Make sure that your profile is also full of skills to allow them to return the favour.

Remember life also happens offlineGo to conferences in your region

Once you have an industry niche, then go to conferences or meetups for that industry. This will enable you to connect with those that you meet. Consider having business cards containing your LinkedIn URL to hand out.

Meet face-to-face

Once you have initiated messaging through LinkedIn, let them know you are an expert in your field and arrange a face-to-face meeting. They may not need your services at this time, but they may know someone that does.

Consider a co-working space

Most cities have some great co-working spaces at low cost. Turning up and getting to know your fellow workers will automatically provide you with entrepreneurial contacts in different industries. They can be fun too, there is one in my town that has free beer on tap!

Create a LinkedIn business page

Business pages allow you to showcase your business to your clients.

To create one, use the work tab on the top menu. At the bottom of the work menu there is an option to create a company page.

Business Details

List your business name and then create a LinkedIn URL e.g. https://www.linkedin.com/company/web-courses-bangkok/.

The following information is then on easy dropdown menus. Making the page creation a quick process: Industry, Company Size and Company Type.

You can then upload your logo and a tagline to describe what your business does.

Here is the example for WCB.

Once you have created your page, then encourage your team members and clients to become brand ambassadors.

Remind yourself you are in it for the long run and it all part of how to become a digital marketer. Get them to follow your page and to share out any content you create.

The post Step-by-Step LinkedIn Marketing for Agencies and Freelancers appeared first on Web Courses Bangkok.

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Social media and e-commerce go hand in hand.

As an online retailer, you are able to interact with potential buyers, increase traffic to your store and of course…generate more income.

Believe me, the potential to build a very successful online store using social media is there. Just check the numbers. According to Statistca.com, in 2016, there was an estimated 1.61 billion people who purchased goods online. Which amounted to 1.9 trillion U.S. dollars and 12.1percent of these sales were in Asia Pacific.

Right now, social media is used quite effectively by such popular brands on Etsy as LayeredAndLong. To advertise, increase presence and of course the key factor to keeping customers coming back. Delivering superior customer service!

So you’re probably wondering, “How did these brands do it?” Keep reading and I will let you in on the secrets of using social media to promote your Etsy store.

What is Etsy?

What is Etsy? - YouTube

Etsy is an online marketplace that focuses on handmade, vintage or uniquely manufactured items. Such as art, clothing, jewellery, photography, beauty products, and toys just to name a few.

What makes Etsy so great is the fact it makes it easy to sell your goods because it provides your store with a shopping cart, payment processor and most importantly it has a ready-made market looking for such handmade items, just like yours!

How To Make A Social Media Ready Etsy Store

Image is Everything!

Are your images telling your Etsy shop story? If you make handmade goods, this can give your store a visual boost over other Etsy retailers. Visual content connects with buyers by showing them how much time and love goes into creating each item. By doing this greatly increases your market value and also puts a “face to the product.”

But first things first, let’s create your stores cover photo.

How To Create a Cover Photo:

This photo covers the entire width of your shop. Your cover photo is the first image(s) that engages first time or returning shopper(s) in your product. It literally is a billboard for your company. You can easily use Canva to create your cover photo.

Step #1

Open Canva and select the Etsy template.

Step #2

Upload your own photo or choose from Canvas library of templates. I would suggest highlighting your best image. For example, a cover photo that converts is one that highlights your product(s) and brings them all together just how Long and Layered did in the below photo.

They use high-quality images of their necklaces, bracelets and rings that appeal to their audience (women).

All the pictures have a dainty, feminine quality to them. When you see this image you automatically know this store sells beautiful jewellery. If that’s what you’re looking for you are going to scroll down to see more.

Step #3

Adjust your images with filters and text.

NOTE: Use text sparingly. Make text big enough to it can be viewed on mobile devices.

Step #4

Save and download your design, and head back to Etsy to upload. A cover photo can truly make or break your branding. It could either inspire customers to come and purchase or have them scrolling past looking for the next best thing.

Your cover visuals (i.e. font, logo and images) should be simple, clear and consistent throughout your store. This makes for branding consistency and makes it easier for you to be known and recognised when shared socially.

Social Tip: This cover image size is 1200 x 300 pixels; try shooting for 3360 pixels x 840 pixels. It’s also a wide image so make sure your image is shot horizontally!

Which Social Media Platform Should I Use?

This is a question I get asked a lot in our social media marketing class. First, thing a business must do is think the following:

  • Take a look at your current social media endeavours. If Facebook and YouTube are working great for you and your business…by all means keep working with them. Just increase your efforts on these sites to make an even bigger splash. If it ain’t broke…don’t fix it! Don’t spread yourself thin looking for the next best platform.
  • Find a platform that has a proven track record of existing Etsy sellers. For instance, my favourite is Pinterest. Pinterest content is search engine friendly and easy to access on smartphones.
  • Make sure your target market frequents your social site of choice. Don’t waste time selling to people who are not interested.

For example, let’s say your Etsy store sales women’s fitness gear. Your typical customer(s) are between the ages of 30-45. Sounds like you probably would want to promote your Etsy store on Pinterest.

According to the latest statistics, 81% of Pinterest audiences are female and the median age is 40. Moreover, the majority of active pinners are below 40. Thus making it a goldmine for businesses that are targeting women.

Pin it on Pinterest

Everything about Pinterest works perfectly for Etsy retailers. According to RJMetrics, Etsy, by far, gets the most re-pins of any other online retailer. That’s because the Etsy brand aligns with the inspirational Pinterest user.

Social Tip: Pinterest users like to buy. The average amount per order is higher than any other social media platform!

Creating Your Pinterest Account

When using interest to generate traffic to your Etsy store, via Pinterest. Your main marketing strategy is to get clicks from your Pinterest that lead to your Etsy store.

Let’s start out by creating your Pinterest account:

The first and most important step is to create a Pinterest business account. For consistency in your branding, use the same name as your Etsy store.

Don’t forget to add a location, link to your Etsy store, branding image and links to your other social profiles.

Now that your store has been created. It’s time to fill up your page with boards that are relevant to your store and brand. The top row is a prime real estate. It must showcase what your store is all about.

Your first board should contain all your Etsy store merchandise. This way people can easily access your retail and don’t have to go clicking through various boards to find what they want.

Now, it’s time to add your description. Pinterest boards are very SEO friendly. Just follow the same SEO practices as you would do for a blog entry.

Find keyword(s) that are highly searched, have low competition, and relate to your product.

Using this Pinterest SEO technique can increase your chances of your board(s) being ranked on Yahoo, Google and Bing.Thus, increasing your chances of more exposure and sales.

You only have 140 characters in your pin/board description. Not only do you have to include your keyword(s). But, you also have to include the following:

  • Colour
  • Size & Measurements
  • Scent (if relevant)
  • Material

Everyone loves a little personality. Use your own voice when describing your product!

Art of the Pin - YouTube

Social Tip: Go beyond your products. Let’s say you sell swimwear. Pin ideas on how to wear it, which colors look best or what swimwear looks good for your body type. So many pining possibilities so your pins aren’t so “purchase now” heavy.

Designing Your Pins:

When designing your pins. Rule of thumb is to make your images skinny and vertical, never short and fat. Long, vertical images are optimized for Pinterest and have a higher re-pin and click-through rate than any other image.

Create Rich Pins:

There are four categories of Rich pins: recipes, products, movies and articles. These pins answer all your customer questions within that pin.

For example, where to find a product, price, and even ingredients for recipe pins. Rich pins are an awesome way to promote your other products. When you create a rich pin. You’ll see other pins from your Etsy store to the right of your product pin.

Quality Counts:

Pinterest is not a faceless advertising platform. Showcase quality content including blogs (from your website and others) and even video (second highest conversion rate on Pinterest).

Pinterest is all about fun, sharing and inspiration. So give that to your audience!

Do’s and Don’ts of Pinterest Ads?

What about Pinterest ads? I’m so glad you asked.

When most people think of paid ads. Their minds automatically go to Facebook, Google Adwords and Instagram (more on that later).

Here are my Do’s and Dont’s when it comes to Pinterest advertising.

Don’t Use redirect links. A promoted pin that sends your customer to a landing page won’t be approved. Pinterest advertising is more natural.

It doesn’t go in for the hard sell like most forms of paid advertising. According to Pinterest advertising guidelines, they want a Pinterest user to click on a promoted pin to find the information they are looking for without having to opt in.

Do Use a website or blog (Tumblr, WordPress, etc) in conjunction with your Etsy store when promoting on Pinterest. You don’t want to always send them back to your Etsy store. Send them to a blog article that might offer more information.

For example, using swimwear as an example again, “10 ways to make your swimsuit look fab this summer.” By taking them to a more informative article. This shows Pinterest and your potential customer that you are not going in for that hard sell. But giving information that nudges your customer in the purchasing direction.

Don’t Use Hashtags: Hashtags, are allowed on Pinterest. But, not in conjunction with ads. They make your ad look spammy. Thus, turning the educated Pinterest user away. You are allowed to add your keywords to a campaign. So hashtags are not needed for promoted pins.

Do Use call-to-action in the description: “Sign up today” “Download now” “Join free for a month” are great examples of a CTA that Pinterest would allow in your Pinterest campaign.

Remember, Pinterest users are educated, accomplished women. Don’t try to over sale. You have to give her pertinent information in relation to what she wants to buy.

Is it Working?

Let’s keep it real. There is a possibility that you won’t go viral…and that’s ok. When you are building a REAL following. It may take a little time. Check your Pinterest Analytics to see how your account is fairing.

Your Pinterest analytics are broken up into 3 sections:

  • Your Pinterest Profile
  • Your Audience
  • Activity From Your Account

You want to look at these metrics in 30, 60, or 90-day blocks. Check out:

  • How many people are clicking on your pins and then going over to your site?
  • High and low traffic times
  • How many impressions (views) your page is getting

Next, check your Re-pins. Checking your re-pins lets you know which pin are getting the most likes and shares. This lets you know what kind of content resonates with your audience. Thus, making it easy for you to create more of that in-demand content.

You can also check Google Analytics to see:

Pinterest Page views: How many pages views you received from Pinterest

Pinterest Traffic: For example, Google drives 40% of your traffic, Facebook 30% and Pinterest 20%. Just make sure you’re seeing an increase in your social media statistics.

More gains, follows and shares opposed to people unfollowing you and little to no engagement.

It’s best to step back and ask yourself the following questions.

  • How often are you posting? – If you are posting once a week on Instagram and Pinterest. Of course, it will take longer to build an audience. I would say with this frequency of posting. It could take a few months to really see improvement in traffic and/or sales.
  • Do you really “know” this platform? – Have you taken any training on your platform of choice? This goes beyond watching a YouTube tutorial. Are you posting at peak times, what images work the best on the platform in question, etc? This could be the maker or breaker when it comes to your store’s social media success.

Don’t get frustrated. Real social success takes time. Just keep posting fresh and relevant content; engaging your audience and the word will spread organically!

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Instagram and Etsy

With the explosion of mobile marketing. It’s a no-brainer to turn your Instagram account into an e-commerce marketplace.

According to emarketer.com, 84% of mobile users, search, browse and compare products on their smartphones.

I know you’re thinking about Instagram’s lack of clickable URL links. The only one is in the bio. But, when you advertise on Instagram you can add CTA’s to your sponsored posts, that are clickable.

Unlike Pinterest, you can send them to a landing page.

This is where this visual platforms really shines when it comes to paid advertising for your Etsy store.

You can collect that potential customer(s) email address for further marketing. I understand you probably don’t have the budget to promote each and every post on IG. Don’t worry…you’re not supposed to. You can use this platform to further solidify your branding.

What Should I Post? Just like Pinterest. Inspiration and motivation always get engagement in the way of comments, likes and shares on IG. Show us what inspires you, what gives you the motivation to create your beautiful handmade products.

Your Instagram posts should have a mixture of:

Promotional posts: Your merchandise, discounts/special events

Non-Promotional: Videos or photos of you creating merchandise. Also, pictures that allow your audience to get to know you, the creator.

Try to post 1-2 posts daily and post one promotional post per week. DON’T OVER SELL!!!!

Insta Story

Another great way to build a loyal following is to utilizing Instagram Stories. If you don’t know, Instagram stories allow users to view what is going on at the moment with you.

These images are life for only 24 hours. Then they are gone off “Your Story.”

Instagram has changed its algorithm again. Now, favoring it’s Insta Stories over traditional posts.

But, it’s still a double whammy when it comes to exposure and branding via Instagram. As an Etsy store owner, you can use “your story” as a behind the scenes of your operation.

When creating content for Insta Stories showcase:

  • Creating product
  • Shopping for materials
  • Your workspace
  • Promotions
  • Tools
  • Ask for feedback

Social Tip: You can now use hashtags on your Instastory! Find relevant Etsy hashtags via http://all-hashtag.com/. Don’t go hashtag crazy on your story. Limit it to 1-2 hashtags per post.

Find Influencers

Since you are selling handmade items. One effective way to promote your Etsy store is to send influencers in your niche some of your merchandise. Who doesn’t love a beautiful handmade gift?

Have them post a picture of your merchandise. Make sure to ask them to tag you in the post and give you a social shout out to all their fans and followers.

I guarantee you will get tons of traffic and new followers by doing this!

Lastly, promote within your Etsy community. Spread the word via forums/boards (if allowed) and their social media. You can even also ask your customers to do the same. Offer them an incentive, like a discount off their next purchase for doing so!

Automate, Automate…did I say Automate??? I know you’re probably getting overwhelmed by posting on 2-3 different platforms, multiple times a day. Who has the time??

But, let me tell you. There are some kick-ass softwares out there that can do it all for you! One of my favorites for scheduling, posting and boosting my online presence is Viral Woot.

Seriously, it does everything from scheduling your posts, increasing reach engaging, connects with the right influencers and creates Pinterest and Instagram campaigns for you!

I really love Viralwoots analytics feature for Instagram. Since IG is a mobile-based platform I find IG analytics lackluster when trying to measure your post/page performance. And it’s just downright hard to see on your smartphone’s screen.

Automation really helps you get back to doing what you love to do the most. Creating products for your Etsy store. Promoting your store via social media is a necessary for your Etsy stores success.

The more time you devote to these platforms the more sales you will generate. The key is to be consistent and patient. There are many stores/brands who have hit hard and faded away just as fast.

Remind yourself you are in it for the long run and it all part of how to become a digital marketer. So, continue to post that inspirational and informative content that your audience loves.

The Social Skinny
  • There was an estimated 1.61 billion people who purchased goods online. 12.1% of those sales were from Asia Pacific region
  • When promoting your store find a platform that has a proven track record with existing Etsy sellers. Those platform is Pinterest and Instagram
  • When using interest to generate traffic to your Etsy store, via Pinterest. Your main marketing strategy is to get clicks from your Pinterest that lead to your Etsy store.
  • 84% of smartphones browse and compare products on their smartphone.
  • Although there are no clickable URL links on IG. You can create CTA’s via your IG paid ads
  • Try to automate your social media.
  • Make sure you’re seeing an increase in your social media statistics. More gains, follows. Check this via Pinterest and Instagram Analytics
  • Be patient. Building an audience takes time.
  • There was an estimated 1.61 billion people who purchased goods online. 12.1% of those sales were from Asia Pacific region
  • When using interest to generate traffic to your Etsy store, via Pinterest. Your main marketing strategy is to get clicks from your Pinterest that lead to your Etsy store.
  • 84% of smartphones browse and compare products on their smartphone.
  • Although there are no clickable URL links on IG. You can create CTA’s via your IG paid ads
  • Try to automate your social media.
  • Make sure you’re seeing an increase in your social media statistics. More gains, follows. Check this via Pinterest and Instagram Analytics
  • Be patient. Building an audience takes time.

The post How To Promote Your Etsy Store Using Social Media Marketing appeared first on

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Do you want to start a career in digital marketing but you have no idea where to start? What you should learn and which skills should be listed on your resume?

I had the same issue! So I did some research, got on a plane and now I’m living in Thailand doing a Digital Marketing internship. I have already met some top DM’ers and they have taught me a lot. I’d like to share that with you here.

In this article, I will provide you all the step by step processes I went through to start my digital marketing career.

So what do digital marketers do every day?

If you imagine a cool hipster with a tattoo, sipping his favourite Cappuccino the whole day while scrolling his Instagram, you’ll be probably the way too far. Although most of digital marketers are cool (tattoos are not required), most of them love (& need) coffee and most of them are active on social media platforms.

If we are looking to their lives from “outside of a coffee shop” it may seem to be the carefree thing to do. Playing with pictures, writing articles, be online all the time. If you spend one day with them, watching them working you’ll be staring with your mouth open.

Our (let me present myself as a digital marketer already although I am still learning but as I said, they are cool and I want to be cool too) everyday life starts with numbers. We open Google Analytics and Hootsuite and analyze what happened a day before. Who did read our new articles? Did these people click to other our pages? Did our posts on social media work? We also make sure that everything is scheduled for today.

After the morning warm-up, the roller coaster switch on its engine (does it have engine BTW?) and we are having fun (and some adrenaline too). I will describe you our main activities within the whole digital marketing process that are making us busy every day:

How to start a new Digital Marketing Project

If we have a new project, the first question is always: “WHAT IS THE TARGET?”

The answer really depends on the field of the industry but all in all, it should end with sign-ups, awareness, shares, likes, comments and of course profit for the company. The purpose of the question is not just reply with one number but the understanding of the strategy, brand positioning, concept of the product, short-term and long-term plan and vision.

For example, we are currently working on an increase of SEO for our client Steps with Theera. They are an accredited vocational training centre in a health focused coffee shop in Bangkok. Before we have even started to discuss the topic, we had to clarify what is their priority – is it a vocational centre or a coffee shop?

After we have all information, we can start with PERSONAS creation. In order words, who is my target audience? I highly recommend to create 2-5 personas and called them with real names. I know it may sound strange but believe me, it will help you a lot in understanding of your customers. How old are they? What gender do they have? What do they like? What does annoy them? Where do they live? What is their income? What kind of education may they have?

One of my first personas were for the yoga studio aimed at releasing stress and anxiety. You can easily create your template for personas in Canva.com which is a user-friendly environment for graphics. Me personally, I like to use Trifold Brochure template as it is dividing sections very nicely. I also prefer to add a picture to the background as it brings the look&feel of the product. Canva has many free pictures, icons and shapes to create your designs. And it’s fun!

Used skills: #brandmanagement, #strategicthinking, #strategyplanning, #projectmanagement, #microsoftoffice, #presentationskills

Learn how to Check for a Client’s Online Presence and do the Site Audit

If you have a client that doesn’t have the website yet, you can easily check potential names in Namecheckr which allows you to screen possibilities for domains as well as social media platforms.

If your client has some website already and is active on social media, just check the presence across all of them. I have seen some companies that present themselves differently, for example as a coffee shop in one platform and as a seller of home-made soaps in other.

After online presence, it’s a time to revise their own website. Let’s take an example of Sevenly and revise their website (as I really like it):

  • It is very easy to spot WHO THEY ARE thanks to their logo in left upper corner
  • You can clearly see WHAT THEY DO. They are “Custom outfitters for world changers.” and ask you to “Join with us to make the world better, one person and one purchase at a time.”
  • CALL TO ACTION button “Shop your cause” is clearly displayed on their landing page
  • The website includes Sevenly’s rewards and logos of companies that wrote about them called as TRUST SIGNALS.
  • You can connect with them on their SOCIAL MEDIA, as they have icons of their platforms at the bottom of the page.
  • The OVERALL LOOK and feel are great. My first impression was that I would like to learn more.
  • It is mobile and tablet RESPONSIVE.
  • It’s amazingly fast.
  • It is easy to orient there (their UX is great) including the very clear font.

Used skills: #SEO, basic #UX, you may use basic #Wordpress and #graphicdesign

Keyword Research can Make a Real Difference

As we would like to create websites that are easy to find on search engines, we have to be careful with keywords we would like to use. Keyword research is important to an organic increase of SEO (in other words, how many other companies is in front of you on the searching engine). But of course, you need to be extremely aware of them when creating “Pay per Click” (known as PPC) campaign so you are successful with high return on investment.

We always try to make sure that words are clear, on topic and people are looking specifically for them.

In Google Keyword Planner you can look for keywords that others use and you can also assess existing websites. For example, I did a check for my friend who sells properties in Austrian Alp as he just started this business and his ranking is very low. After putting his website into a Google Keyword Planner we have realised that a page is shown to those people who are looking for “investments”, “stock market” and other similar words rather than “buying property”.

Good inspiration can be also Quora. You can explore what are people asking about the topic. So, for example, I will want to know more about previously mentioned “yoga for releasing stress and anxiety”. I will look for the words “yoga anxiety” and see what are people asking with the usage of these words. And I will repeat it for all our other keywords. I will also screen the answers and see if people use some other relevant words more often. In this case, people often use words like: depression, decrease, reduce, techniques, therapy. And on the top of that, I can be inspired by some future articles or content that I may use. Isn’t is great?

Another source is to go through reviews as people usually use their own words for describing the service or product. I used this research for Steps by Theera (our client as I mentioned previously) so I can see how people describe them. For instance, they used words like “for young adults with disabilities”, “with special needs”, “educational training center”:

Another important thing is the usage of keywords on the website. We make sure that these 6 places are not missed: title, 1st paragraph, h1, h2, alt text of picture, text

Used skills: #keywordsresearch, #SEO, #googleadwords, #PPC

Master your Reading of Google Analytics

We are checking the progress on Google Analytics on a daily basis as it is a great tool for spotting an issue or leveraging the content that works.

As a first, it looks like a world of numbers without any story behind. But I have learned how to ask the right questions and what can we do with the answer. Let me give you the example:

Used skills: #googleanalytics, #analyticalthinking

Dig in into the Content Creation

The main purpose of content is selling the product or service. Ideas of the content depend on our client but most importantly on our target audience.

At the beginning of each content creation, we should decide if we would like to educate, entertain or edify our leads and what kind of content will we produce (blog, articles, video, newsletters etc).

Content has to be posted regularly, it has to be engaging and relevant to your target audience. If you can customize the content for a specific group of people, even better (e.g.: send newsletter only to those people who already bought your product).

Here you can find an example of Web Courses Bangkok’s articles. Some of them are for the education, some for edification. We are posting regularly and also we have the content that is relevant for our students divided into particular topics: Web Design, Web Development, Graphic Design, Online Marketing, and Photography.

Apart of the great copywriting we work towards a goal of generating traffic on a website and we make sure that content that we prepare is including all these “must haves”:

  • Title with keywords
  • Clear message and story with conclusion
  • Examples and stories
  • Internal and external links
  • Easy to read fonts
  • Author
  • Date of publishing or editing
  • Social media sharing buttons as well as embedded items (e.g.: Follow Twitter)
  • Call to action buttons (e.g.: read also this article, know more here etc.)
  • Real images and videos to visualise what you are saying. Avoid stock images.
  • Length of app. 2000 words

Used skills: #SEO, #copywriting, #blogging, #emailmarketing, basic #graphicdesign, basic #videocreation, basic #photography

Explore Social Media Platforms and Advertisement

We are working with social media on daily basis. When we have a new client, we are screening their social media presence as a first thing:

  • Which are social media they are present in?
  • How many followers do they have?
  • Do they post daily?
  • How do they interact with their followers?
  • What is their competition doing?
  • Are they present in other than social media but relevant websites, e.g.: Trip Advisor
  • Is their communication in social media platforms on brand?
  • Do they use Ads for promoting their company, product, events? How do they choose target audience?

Having specifics of the client, their product and target audience in our minds, we are proposing the plan in a content calendar. The content calendar should be planned based on short-term and long-term plans. We are using Trello for planning all our content across social media platforms, sending newsletters and articles posting.

For short-term planning, we are using Trello for all our content across social media platforms, sending newsletters and posting of articles.

Amaing thing is that everything can be scheduled in tools like Hootsuite which is saving time dramatically. Apart of client’s Timeline, we can add streams like mentions, new followers, competition pages, likes, hashtags. We also have client’s analytics available based on requirements too.

Used skills: #socialmediamarketing, #facebookads, #copywriting, basic #graphicdesign, basic #videocreation, basic #photography

So, my question at the end of the day: Do you still envisage a digital marketer as a hipster in a coffee shop? Don’t get me wrong, it can be hipster as per book but very very very busy one which makes me to conclude:

A digital marketer is a new super hero.

How to learn all of these?

As you could see, a digital marketing is a broad subject which gives you a unique opportunity to find a topic that you can specialise in. You can choose to learn to copywrite and still have a successful career in Digital Marketing. Let’s say you love statistics, then you can specialise in Google Analytics.

First, let’s identify your skills and strengths

Who is a digital marketer? What kind of qualities should a person have and build?

A digital marketer is passionate when talking about brands, it is a person that is eager to learn, that wants to be up-to-date. A digital marketer is brave to face problems and try to solve them, is responsible and dedicated. It is a creative being that understands others no matter of culture, social class, and age but is also able to think analytically and learn from their previous activities.

Where do you find yourself? Are you more analytical or creative? Do you prefer to think about strategies or find out why your website is scoring low on Google? Build on your strength and develop those areas you feel less confident about.

Practice and all is coming

Now, when you have the knowledge of what a digital marketer does, there is nothing more important than learning from your own experience. If you have your own business already, take it as the opportunity to move your skills as well as your company further. Or try one of these:

  • Self-presentation as a professional. Write a blog, be active on social media, create your own simple website on WordPress.
  • Do you have some friends who have a small business? Help them. Or explore for example Etsy and ask someone else. For instance, I contacted 7 Etsy stores to practice my skills. I have chosen those that had 5 start reviews and they already had some sells. I checked their online presence, if they have a logo, how many followers they have on their social media platforms and when was the last time they were active. 2 stores replied to me that are interested in my offer. I have just chosen the final one. Guess what is it? A coffee shop (+they sell homemade products).
  • Is your heart beating to create something meaningful? Volunteer in some NGO like we are working for Steps with Theera.
  • Do you have some passion? For example, my friend is promoting his favorite music band. That’s awesome.
Follow key opinion leaders

A good thing is that you can find everything, all information online. A bad thing is, you can feel overloaded and confused what is relevant for you.

The best approach is to follow digital marketing influencers based on your field of interest. Find them on social media, read their blogs, attend their webinars, ask them questions. Learn from the best.

I also highly recommend attending events. For example, the last I attended was about Trends in digital marketing with experts from Bangkok. You can post your questions directly to the panel or ask them afterwards 1-2-1. You can extend your circle and find new connections. I took notes so I can share my key takeaways for you:

  • Thailand is growing market with consumers that want more marketing activities
  • Key opinion influencers are an important way of communication. Start with a relevancy to your product and communication. High reach influencers with a huge number of followers can increase your awareness, while mid or low reach are building your trust and engagement.
  • B2B communication – start with a clean web site, strong call to action and be active on social media. Don’t forget on LinkedIn.
  • Viral video is cost effective way of sharing info about your product but there is nothing like a check box for creating such as thing. Great content is a key (either funny or emotional).
  • Paid vs. organic growth – if you want to see your results immediately, PPC is a great tool and it will increase your organic growth as well. However, you have a higher conversion from organic reach. In terms of Facebook, ads are important for increasing your reach. Social signals may play more important role in increasing your organic growth for the future.


Equally important, ask as many questions as possible to everyone that is already in the field and have experience. I had an amazing opportunity to be a part of the organisation team of the focus group regarding “Which skills should digital marketing professionals have”. I met with 20 marketers and interviewed some of them. Here you can find one of my interviews –  Jeremy Guessoum, a Marketing Director of the agency Grey Alchemy:

Interview with Social Media Marketing Expert - Jeremy founder of Grey Alchemy - YouTube

Sign up for the course to accelerate the whole process

Imagine yourself in starting blocks. That feeling when you adjust into the right position. A looong inhale while raising your sight towards to the goal. Your focus is there, your head is up and you know exactly what you have to do and where to go when you will hear the signal for the start. Bang..and you run!

Attending the course is the same thing – you have your focus, you know exactly what you have to do and where to go. The course is the accelerator of your learning path and your future career. You don’t have to spend your time on research as somebody else did it for you already. Everything is served as “all inclusive”. Your task is to study, prepare yourself for classes and practice. That’s it.

How to choose a perfect course for a digital marketing?

  • CONTENT: make sure your course is including all previously mentioned subjects such as brand management, content marketing, social media, analytics, search engines, web landing pages, conversion optimization, email marketing, SEO and that you have enough information so you know exactly what you’ll cover during your studies.
  • REAL CASE STUDIES: as Benjamin Franklin said: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Your school should provide you with industry examples and let you to practice. Avoid the education with theory only. If you practice during your studies on real cases, you already build your portfolio which is a great advantage.
  • CERTIFICATIONS: inform yourself about the type of certifications the school will provide you after the course. Make sure that you have a certification of Google Adwords and Analytics – that’s a must.
  • MENTORING: do you have some extra classes with mentors from the school or is it just a group class and that’s it?
  • SIZE OF THE GROUP: the smaller the better (10 people max), the individual approach is crucial for your success.
  • VISIT A SCHOOL: observe how do you feel there, interview tutors, ask questions.
  • Think about “technical” criteria: price, timing, the address of the school.
  • Create a spreadsheet with all criteria that are relevant for you and rate schools that you find. Choose the one with the highest score. This may sound a bit crazy however it will help you to decide relatively quickly as you can see all pros and cons on one page.
Kick-off your digital marketing career

With the list of skills that you covered and with all your effort that you put into your studies, you are ready to become a digital marketing professional. Good luck! Inspire others, create beautiful campaigns and never stop moving forward as an expert. This world changes so quickly.

The post Step-by-Step Process on how to Become a Digital Marketer appeared first on Web Courses Bangkok.

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You might be wondering how an appreciation of golf has anything to do with digital marketing, but you’d be surprised by what they have in common.

The hard-fought lessons you’ve learned on the green can serve you well when trying to figure out a digital marketing strategy.

Now, more than ever, a digital presence is essential to the marketing success of any business.

When it comes to golf professionals and clubs, this is no different. However, for many golf professionals and golf clubs, golfing is what they like to stick to.

Their golf game may be strong, but their digital marketing game is… err… handicapped.

The sad reality is that even though 52% of businesses outsource their digital marketing, only 19% of them agree that they are getting the return on investment to make it worthwhile. It is about time that Digital Marketing for Golf Professionals was done inhouse, by you, with this how to guide!

With stats like these, how can you be sure that you are working with the right agency? Would you be better off managing your digital marketing campaigns yourself?

We’ve put together some great pro tips and information to help you decide. By the end of this article, your you’ll be ready to tee off your digital marketing with ease:

How to Spot and Deal with a Bad Digital Marketing Agency

Any good golfer knows how important it is to pay attention to the wind. A whole lot of wind makes for a bad game of golf. Similarly, a whole lot of hot air being blown at you by an ad agency should be a warning sign that you’re not going to be in for a good game.

Choosing the right agency to represent your brand can be a difficult decision. Unfortunately, there are more bad agencies out there than there are good ones.

Knowing how to avoid these agencies is the first step to a successful digital marketing campaign.

Dealing with hundreds of clients that have come from being stuck in a bunker by other agencies, these are some of the initial warning signs that I have managed to pinpoint. If any of these red flags come up in your discussions, I recommend you walk away.

They don’t ask you any questions

Before you decide on a club, you have to know where you want the ball to go. Is the flag in sight? How far is the green? What obstacles are in your way?

Similarly, you should have goals and objectives for your digital marketing campaign. What do you hope to achieve? In what time frame? Are there any obstacles that might be an issue?

Make sure you give your digital marketing agency something to aim for

The agency that is going to get you to the 18th hole is going to ask questions along these lines to help them do just that. They will also ask questions to help them understand your brand more, in order to effectively represent it in your digital marketing campaigns.

Budget before you or your goals

Picture this…

You come into my golf shop, hoping to purchase a shiny new driver. As you walk in, I ask you “what’s your budget?”. You answer and I hand you a putter…

Are you going to be happy?

Possibly one of the biggest red lights is when an agency asks you for your budget before they have asked you any other questions with regards to your goals and deadlines.

Ask the agency how they plan to understand your goals and research your target audience and KPI’s. Tell them what resources you have and ask what they will require going forward. If they can’t give you these answers or seem unclear, it is a sign that they may just be bluffing about their handicap.

“We can get you to number 1 on Google!”

Unless you are a billionaire that has contacted Google directly, this is not a promise that any decent agency will make you. No self-respecting agency will make you promises they can’t keep. Even the best golfer is never guaranteed a hole-in-one.

If you are looking for a vast improvement in your SEO rankings, I suggest you request examples and contactable references of clients they have worked with before. A good agency will have these readily available to you, before you have to ask.

No client services agreement

The basic rule of all business negotiations is “Get it in writing!”

After your initial discussion of goals, branding and deadlines, you should receive a proposal along with a client services agreement. These documents should clearly state outputs, timelines and measurable ROI (Return On Investment).

You should receive one of these

I recommend checking these points are included and defined:

  • An agreed timeline, regular meetings and a single point of contact.
  • An iron clad contract with clear deliverables (e.g. % increase in relevant leads over X amount of time).
  • When reports will be sent and what they will contain.
  • Detailed breakdown proposal on a month by month basis.
Pro Tips:
  • Request examples of content marketing, SMM and client contacts.
  • Get a clear idea of how they will drive traffic and or increase rankings.
  • Set up goals for your analytics that are linked to your business e.g. inquiries, purchases or sign-ups.
What makes a good agency?

Hiring an agency is a bit like hiring a golf caddy.

Let me explain…

When you’re playing an unfamiliar course, you hire a caddy that knows the course. You obviously want to hire a caddy that knows the course so he can pass the knowledge on to you.

Agencies, much like caddies, should point you in the right direction

Now, if you hire the wrong caddy, he will be handing you the wrong clubs, pointing you in the wrong direction and your golf game is going to go nowhere.

Hire the wrong agency and, similarly, your digital marketing campaign will be pointless.

The best way to find a good digital marketing agency is to Google “digital marketing agency (insert your town/area)”.

It makes sense that the agency with the highest ranking should be able to do the same for you, doesn’t it?

Pro Tip: Always log out, go to incognito, use google.com/ncr and then do your own rank check.

Unfortunately, like a good golf club:

“Good marketing isn’t cheap and cheap marketing isn’t good.”

A good agency may cost more, but the whole reason for hiring a marketing agency is to make you more money than you spend.

Nobody wants to hire a golf coach that won’t improve their game.

A good agency will provide regular updates without you having to ask for them.

If I were to hire an agency, I would expect regular mails along the lines of, “Just wanted to update you that we have …. and next we will …”

This would of course come with progress reports of how my digital marketing campaign is performing so that I can see where my money is going to.

Use Google Analytics to track how well your digital marketing strategy is working

If there was no improvement in response, from week to week, then I would want to know what exactly I was paying out for. Wouldn’t you?

Do It Yourself Digital Marketing for Golf Professionals

Did you know that there are 352 points to a golf swing? You can’t think about all of them in one swing. It takes time to master each point.

Similarly, managing your own digital marketing campaign is a learning process that will take time and dedication.

Just like your golf swing, digital marketing takes practice

Communicating with your Target Audience

In practice, social media sites, along with search engines, are amongst the most popular sites on the Internet. I recommend starting by choosing which channel is best for your market.

While Facebook and Instagram are the top performing online platforms at the moment, they each cater to a different audience. Facebook has become more utilized by older generations, while Instagram caters very much to a millennial audience.

To effectively determine which channel will work for you, you must define your own target audience and demographics:

  • How old are they?
  • What are their interests?
  • Where do they live?
  • What is their income bracket?
  • All of these points will help you to fine tune the targeting process of your digital marketing campaign.

Creating personas for your audience is a great way to focus your efforts

Use your Own Social Network

Remember that success in social media is not so much about the different social networks and your tools, but your strategy for how to use them.

To apply them effectively for communications, we have to recognise that socialising online is all about participation in discussions and sharing of ideas and content.

All brands connect with their followers through consistent, aligned interests and you should never stray away from yours.

Decide what your values/causes/interests are, before you start posting anything to social media and then create yourself a content calendar (what content to post, when and where).

Content calendars can help ensure your content stays on brand

Pro Tip: Posting the same type of content (eg: just pictures) can get boring. Make sure that you have a good balance of multimedia, links, informative blogs, events and other content to keep users engaged.

It’s all too easy to go straight to getting your business up and running on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter without thinking of what you want to achieve.

Don’t be tempted to rush straight into setting your business up on social networks until you have set or reviewed your goals, or you’ll find it difficult to measure any success that has been created for your brand.

The word “Strategy” suggests that you have a final goal in mind. Every post on social media should have an intention.

What do you want this post to do? Sell or promote a product? Raise awareness? Drive traffic to your site?

Every post on every platform should have purpose and be directly aimed at your target market.

Start thinking how you will use your digital marketing to reach your goals — as you write them, add the words ‘by’ or ‘through’ to help you think how you will achieve them.

For example, a retailer with offline stores will write:

“We will achieve increased and recurring sales through social media by offering value deals to existing customers through these channels and attracting new customers through value deals shared by existing customers.”

MOREHOW TO BECOME A DIGITAL MARKETER

Read our step-by-step guide to becoming a digital marketer:

READ ARTICLE

Social Media Marketing is not as Hard as you Think

Each social media platform can serve a different purpose for the individual, business or organisation. You will find that for each brand, the platforms tend to attract different users and offer different features to engage them.

The tone of voice used and interactions are quite different too, so a ‘one-size fits all’ communication strategy for each platform is definitely not the way forward.

There are however, common procedures or protocols to managing the use of these platforms that need an agreed approach and also common tools to help communicate with your audience through each of these platforms:

Account Name – Should be your company name. Remains the same on all platforms.

Profile Pictures Your profile picture across all platforms should remain your logo. Never change this! Keeping this image constant will build trust and brand awareness.

Keep things consistent

Look and Feel Maintain a constant brand image through all platforms.

Review Your Brand Personality And Set A Vision – Social media and content marketing provides many opportunities to make your brand more engaging and these have to be thought through. The whole personality of your brand may have to be revisited too.

Information The more detailed information you give about your company, the better. Users want to know exactly who they are dealing with. The more transparent you are, the more users will trust your brand.

Provide as much information as possible

Posts Post with your target audience in mind. All posts should be relevant to them.

Always make your posts relevant to your audience

Overselling – Do not oversell yourself. Posting a “We are awesome” or “Buy from us” post every time you have the chance may build brand awareness, but you will lose brand trust and be known as a spammer or a shark. Nobody likes spammy posts, so we suggest using the 20% rule — only 1 out of 5 posts can be promoting your business. The rest need to be offering value to your followers and potential leads to draw them in and build credibility.

Multimedia – 80% of all your posts should contain some form of visual media. These posts are 40 times more likely to be liked/favourited/shared on social media platforms.

Market Research – Asking existing customers about their preferences for different social media platforms and how they’d like to see you using them is a great place to start with setting your objectives.

Surveys encourage engagement and can provide useful data

Competitor Analysis – Create a simple scorecard of how well your competitors are using social media so that you can benchmark them over time.

Review Social Media Capabilities And Priorities – Social media marketing isn’t new for most companies, they will already be using social media, but not necessarily to its fullest. Benchmarking where you are now against where you want to be in the future is key to future success.

Multi-Platform Marketing Cross-link your platforms for a loyal following.

Scheduling Use a social media dashboard, such as Hootsuite, to schedule your main posts throughout the week. This will save you hours of valuable time and make your social media management a whole lot more efficient.

Hootsuite offers a complete solution to managing your social media output

All in all, managing your digital marketing campaign is all about keeping your eye on the ball, knowing where you are going and carefully planning the steps to get there.

Even a scratch golfer playing with a blindfold is going to lose – you have to see where you are going!

What’s next?

The choice is yours, though I highly recommend hiring a caddy to help you learn the course, before you try and tackle it yourself. Check out this presentation written by yours truly.

If you are serious about managing your Digital Marketing as a Golf Professional, Web Courses Bangkok can offer you the skills you need. Take a look at our selection of online marketing courses, designed to take your digital marketing handicap from beginner to pro!

If you found this article helpful or have any questions regarding digital marketing, we would love to hear from you. Simply comment below or share across your own digital platforms to help others, just like you.

The post [How to Guide] Digital Marketing for Golf Professionals appeared first on Web Courses Bangkok.

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