How Brand & Marketing Costs You Money: Without Spending a Dime

So you say brand & marketing, web design and social media management is expensive.

Well, yes…….I’ll agree…….It is.

And being a small business owner myself, I get it. Although I don’t have to pay directly for a designers time, or a marketing strategy….. I do pay with MY time.

Often times, my marketing and design take a back seat to looming project deadlines. My portfolio updates are left for Christmas Breaks and strings of influenza when I’m stuck in bed. As a matter of fact, as I type this blog – I’m sick – Not a coincidence, but I digress.

Even though I am the designer, and I am the marketer, and I am the social media manager…..My business takes a back seat. I don’t give it the time it needs. I’m often the last to update my blog and branded content, last to have something meaningful posted on my facebook page, and last to interact to really track after clients.

What I’ve realized is that I’m not alone. I find that most small to medium sized businesses are in the same boat. They don’t have time to begin to figure out what they may need but they know they need something, and they realize they are losing traction by doing nothing at all.

I’ve said before, that if you have no budget you have no brand. This is the same concept as losing traction by not marketing and consistently keeping your brand in center focus.

It’s a frustrating position to be in when you are trying to keep your head above water managing the day to day operation of your business. You think of potential business ideas and see opportunities slipping by because you simply just don’t have the time to “make things happen.” You look at the well oiled machine of a business someone else is running and you wonder…how are they doing all of that and growing at the same time? You begin to feel overloaded and defeated, until you realize why you got into business for yourself to begin with. People have misconceptions about business ownership and you feel like you’re drowning.

Always caught in this catch 22 of not having enough, and needing to do more.

So how is brand & marketing costing you money without spending a dime? Well….. you are losing money, by lost opportunity. When you don’t send a message out…it’s never received. Growing your brand equity and brand recognition in the marketplace is essential to staying relevant to your target demographic.

So….for my fellow business owners I have some food for thought for you. 3 simple steps to take to start moving in the direction of gaining traction and getting things done.



Design and Marketing | Bianca Frank Design

Step 1 for Brand & Marketing Your Business | Find Your Purpose

Get OFF of the focus of how to make more money, save more money or grow. First things first is that as a business owner you have to figure out who you are and where you’re trying to go. Rationalize it, analyze it, speak it, and eventually write it down! Do not ask other people (unless they are co-owners of the business) what their opinions are. You have to be able identity for yourself why you are doing what you’re doing and why your customers and potential customers should even care.

Some key things to take inventory about:

  1. Why am I in business for myself? Money? Time with Family? Passion for the Industry?
  2. What is the purpose of this business? Am I helping someone? Am I providing a Needed Service?
  3. Where am I trying to take this business? Am I trying to leave a legacy? Am I trying to Grow it, to sell it? Am I just working until retirement and then close it?
  4. Why should anyone care that you are in business? (sounds harsh) but this is by far the most valuable question I ask my clients. If you don’t know why someone should care why you’re in business, then you shouldn’t be in business. You won’t be able to sell yourself to anyone if you can’t sell yourself to YOU.

 

Step 2 for Brand & Marketing Your Business | Work with People

The best of the best of the BEST see the value in TEAMS. You can’t be a one woman/man show and expect to be able to take over the wingbat technology sector. You have to formulate a plan and that includes having people around you that round out your strengths and weaknesses. Key people you may need:

  1. Small Business Administration – Utilizing places like the Small Business Administration is of great value to small business owners.
  2. Accountant – if you aren’t good with money or budgeting this is essential.
  3. Alaska Small Business Development Center – Another great resource for Alaska Small Business owners.
  4. Anchorage Chamber of CommerceOffers networking events to tie into others in your sector or partnering with businesses to lift one another up.
  5. Brand Consultant and Graphic Designer – You will spend more for a designer but the impact of having a strong aesthetic, unique brand asset, color and typography will push your message further and consistently.
  6. Marketing and Social Media Management – Keep your brand equity growing means keeping a tangible place in your market, and in the face of your target audience.

 

Step 3 for Brand and Marketing Your Business | Execute Your Plan and Stay Consistent

A sure fire way to make sure that your business grows and remains relevant is consistency. No you don’t have to come out of the marketing gate blazing trails, but you do need to have at least a small drip of movement. Small businesses are expensive to open, operate, and run but you do not want to have a brand that has zero gas behind it.

You have to utilize the vision, brand, and plan that’s been developed and consistently put that message out into the marketplace. Alaska is a small enough market that luckily it doesn’t take long for the word to get out about your business. Especially if you do things the right way.

Content is King and Consistency is Queen!

Contact Bianca Frank Design today to see how we can help increase your brand equity!

Bianca Frank Design offers a comprehensive brand and brand development package that can be utilized to begin or reinvigorate your small business marketing strategy. Whether you are in need of small business marketing strategies, graphic design, brand design, web design, or just need brand or design consultation on where to start. Drop a note and we will be in touch soon.

[button color=”#ffffff” background=”#e8549e” size=”small” src=”http://biancafrankportfolio.com/contact-us”]Get In Touch[/button]

3 Reasons Why You Need A Website

A new spring means new marketing strategies. If you company doesn’t already have a website, you should definitely add it to your To Do List for 2015.A website can help with any number of things involving your business strategy.

A Website Offers Visibility

If you want to expand your business outside of your current customer base, you need visibility in your market. Most consumers are on the web now both trying to find new places to shop or acquire services and also to research those companies they find. Ideally, a quick Google search for some keywords about your business will bring up your business as a top hit but it takes some time for that to happen.The first steps are getting a website, optimizing it will happen after.

A Website Provides Your Customers Up to Date Information about Your Company

Using a website to provide up to date information about your business is crucial.You can inform customers about events and new services you provide, or show off pictures of projects you’ve finished. If you have specials or sales that you want to advertise, your website is the perfect place to do it. Announcements about store closings, new employees, and other business logistics can be posted to your website to keep loyal customers informed of your company’s happenings.
Website Visibility | Bianca Frank Design

Your Website Improves Your Business Traceability

The best part of a website is you can keep track of how many people are seeing your advertising.Simple counters will tell you how many people have visited your site and you can even find out how they tracked you down.This allows you to see what other types of online visibility are working. Do you have a Facebook page or other social media outlet you like to use? Maybe your business is listed on a review website like TripAdvisor, Yelp, or Angie’s List that allows users to go straight to your page from the host site.You can see what’s working and what needs help.

Contact us today to see how we can help get your website up and running in 2015!

Bianca Frank Design offers a comprehensive brand and brand development package that can be utilized to begin or reinvigorate your small business marketing strategy. Whether you are in need of small business marketing strategies, graphic design, brand design, web design, or just need brand or design consultation on where to start. Drop a note and we will be in touch soon.

[button color=”#ffffff” background=”#e8549e” size=”small” src=”http://biancafrankportfolio.com/contact-us”]Get In Touch[/button]

How To Build A Consistent Small Business Brand

Your brand presence is important to your business, for brand awareness, online and print advertising and for marketing your business. Because small businesses often have small marketing budgets, utilizing the power of having a consistent brand will help to maximize your message in the marketplace.

Utilizing an Alaska web design firm that also understands online marketing, brand design, and branded content, will give you small business marketing budget, the biggest bang for your buck.

Brand recognition grows over time and ensuring your brand is consistent across all of your online and print channels is even more important than what your budget is for marketing services.

It is important for your marketing campaign to have a consistent brand across all online channels. Whether you are marketing your brand through SEO (search engine optimization), Social Media Campaigns, Print Advertising or Video/Commercial means…the one underlying and most important element is that your branding remains consistent.

Here’s a quick read on how to maximize your Online Brand Marketing that further explains the importance of brand consistency and online marketing strategies.

Logo Design = Visual Brand or ReBranding for  Small Business Brand

One of the most recognizable parts of your visual brand is your logo. Finding out rules of how to create an effective logo design are an integral first step. Hiring a professional graphic designer to assist on establishing your initial brand, or rebranding an existing brand can help to ensure a powerful and memorable logo direction.

Ensuring your logo is consistent across each of your online channels is crucial. Having a consistent visual brand is essential in ensuring that your company’s visions and mission are reflected.

It should be the same on your website and all your social media pages.

Anytime it comes up on another site, your logo should be the same as on your own site.

If you have partnerships with other companies and they advertise that on their website, send them an image file of your logo and ask for theirs.

Cross marketing accurately is helpful in consistent branding.

Content Marketing for your  Small Business Brand

There is a feel and vibe that comes from the word choice used by companies on their websites and social media.

Depending on the type of business you have, you may have a more fun and light hearted vibe or a more serious and informative feel.

The message of your company can be easily construed on each online channel with carefully chosen words and font choices.

Releasing press releases, weekly blogs, social media content will allow for your branded content marketing to be useful and to further keep your brand consistent. It will also help steer all the media about your business.

Analyze your  Small Business Brand

You can’t know if your brand is consistent unless you’re constantly on the lookout for what’s out there about your business.

Check out any likely places your business name will come up including sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Angie’s List, and any review site specific to your type of business.

You can’t change what people say but being aware of it will help keep your brand consistent.

Contact us today to see how we can help with your brand!

Bianca Frank Design offers a comprehensive brand and brand development package that can be utilized to begin or reinvigorate your small business marketing strategy. Whether you are in need of small business marketing strategies, graphic design, brand design, web design, or just need consultation on where to start. Drop a note and we will be in touch soon.

Anchorage Alaska Business Advertising Design Strategy

Anchorage Alaska Business Advertising Design Strategy

Anchorage Alaska Business Advertising Design Strategy


One of the fundamentals of growing a business is good advertising and design.
Any business owner knows this and takes steps to ensure their target audience knows they exist. Your message is important and you want your potential clients to see it and understand it. Here are a few key elements that you need to keep in mind when utilizing design in your business advertising strategy.

Create a Cohesive Message in Your Anchorage Alaska Business Advertising Design Strategy

It can’t be said enough – a cohesive message across all of your marketing platforms will ensure your business’s advertising is consistent. If a client goes to your Facebook page, it should have the same look and feel as your own website. Print material should have a flow of ideas, language, and presentation that represents your company’s message as well as agrees with the rest of your advertising efforts. Design is the visual way to ensure all of these media outlets match and give off the same vibe, tone and voice of your company.

Professional Design for Your Anchorage Business

While creating advertising on your own may save you money, it won’t save time and it won’t give your business the polished, professional appearance it needs to get the results you want. Even if you have one simplified ad created by a professional to express your message, reusing that ad in multiple media outlets will still allow you to keep costs down as well as maintain a professional appearance. You can also hire a designer on a retainer basis, where you utilize their knowledge and feedback to ensure your materials are as effective as possible.

As a consumer, we all have multiple options on what company we choose to hire or purchase from. However, most people are drawn initially toward the advertisements that look most professional and put together. Think about how you choose from your available options. Without more information to assess the different options, the better design will draw you in. It looks better, and in turn expresses a more credible company and/or service.

Gaining Results from Your Marketing Efforts | Anchorage Alaska Business Advertising Design Strategy

With the help of a designer, you can see real results when you utilize proper design techniques in your advertising. Markets have many different trends and the design style that is effective in each will fluctuate based on any number of factors. Your target demographic, what your product or service is, or where you are connecting with your audience are all areas a professional designer can assist you. In turn finding a professional designer can not only gain you results but will also maximize your marketing dollars. After all, you get what you pay for.

The whole point of advertising is getting the results you want, which usually calculate to more clients! Make sure you are investing as much time in sending the right message to your audience, as they are in choosing to use a credible business for their needs.

Not sure where to start with design for your Anchorage business? Contact us today to see how we can help turn your message into a client!

How to Develop Your Business Web Strategy

Your Alaska business’s web presence is an important part of your business success.

Whether you use the web just for providing contact information or updating your customers on everything related to your business, there are a few things you should consider.

What is your goal?

You need to ask yourself what is the goal of your presence on the web? Some websites and social media pages are simply informational- a customer searches for a service and gets your FAQ and contact information. Simple. Other websites house information on products, events, customer portals, or athlete bios such as Joey Junker. Other considerations for your web strategy include more elaborate social media which is an excellent marketing tool when used correctly.

Who are you targeting?

Whether you are targeting new clients over existing clients with your web strategy, you will need to consider how information is being portrayed. New clients want to know about the company- the mission, the reputation, and the product.Existing clients want to know about upcoming specials, events, or news that they care about. Targeting new and existing clients is important and keeping a balance between these two targets will give you maximum exposure.

Anticipation

If you are a new company starting out, targeting new clients right now, over the next 3 or 6 months, or even a year, your web presence will need to adapt. An existing customer base has already seen the new company marketing.They want to see your plan for change and they want to see any new and exciting things happening with your company.
Working along with a designer for your logo and website, talk about your options and goals and make sure you are portraying the vision you want your clients to see.

Contact us today to see how we can help develop your Alaska business web strategy!

How To Make Your Alaska Brand Different & Unique

The idea behind any company branding is to catch your customer’s eye and get them to ask more questions. Your Anchorage Alaska Brand, Logo Design or Graphic Design needs a unique feel to stand out in the crowd. A few tips can help take your Alaska brand to the next level!

Anchorage Alaska Brand, Logo Design or Graphic Design

Fight the Normal Brand Direction

There are many Alaska companies that play into the weather and terrain of Alaska when putting together their brand.Images of mountains, ice, water, trees, and other natural touches can be found in many, or even most, Alaska branding. It doesn’t mean you can’t use these motifs, but make them your own with uncommon colors, textures, or accents that take your brand from ordinary to extraordinary.

Your Message is Already Unique, Ensure Your Brand is

Don’t forget, your business is already unique by itself. Your brand should reflect your own unique vision and message, meaning it will have its own unique feel without too much effort!Play into the things you like and that speak to the audience you’re targeting.

Use Different Marketing Tools

Once you have figured out the way you want to make your Alaska brand unique, use different or unusual marketing tools.For example, typical bottled water companies might use water bottles to advertise their company. What about ice cube trays? Key chains are common advertising but those with fun and custom shapes or bangles are usually the ones that end up on everyday key rings.Some of the different tools may be more expensive since they aren’t standard but the cost is worth it if you are constantly getting word of mouth advertising from your clients.

Make sure to pick something about your business that makes it the most unique and different and play those differences up! Your customers will appreciate the efforts!

Some examples of some great Alaska Brands that are not specifically calling attention to the typical motifs:

logo-samples-Postthumbnail_900x180

Bristol Bay Native CorporationSteamdot Food Bank of Alaska the 49th Supply Co.  | Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau

These are companies that Bianca Frank Design was not a part of creating, however, they are inspiring Alaskan brands that have stepped away from the “Alaska” status quo and I admire each of these brands for that reason.

Do you need help defining and designing what makes your brand different? Contact us today to talk!

Bianca Frank Design offers a comprehensive brand and brand development package that can be utilized to begin or reinvigorate your small business marketing strategy. Whether you are in need of small business marketing strategies, graphic design, brand design, web design, or just need consultation on where to start. Drop a note and we will be in touch soon.

 

Get More Results from Online Brand Marketing with These 3 Winning Strategies

Once we’ve established a brand that represents your company, maintaining that brand requires consistent brand development actions. A brand management package tailored to further develop and maintain the effectiveness of your brand is crucial. These steps include a regularly updated blog, search engine optimization (seo), and social media management.

The three winning strategies below are the foundations for a comprehensive brand management package that will bring your brand to the next level.

Anchorage Alaska Blog, Search Engine Optimization (seo), Social Media

Blogging Content

One of the ways to get more traffic to your website is maintaining a blog.New content added to your website on a regular basis with content that relates to your target audience keeps them interested and aware that you’re a trendy and a top player in your industry.You don’t need to be a writer to have a blog- that’s a service that can be purchased and tailored to your company!

Search Engine Optimization(SEO)

You want to come up in a search when your clients try to find a company that provides your services.Keeping content fresh and relevant ensures your name comes up in search engine results.Search Engine Optimization is a science that has been perfected by brand managers and designers. It’s vital to your business’s success and is a key part of helping your brand grow.

Social Media Management

Everyone has Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Flickr. Many people have multiples if not all, but maintaining all of these accounts on your own for your business is a full time job!Updating them on a monthly basis means your most important events, specials, and information gets sent to your clients in the manner that they are more likely to see.
Not everyone is going to see the ad in the paper or get a paper flyer, but if they have liked you on Facebook, they will see the update you post about an upcoming event. It’s the simplest and fastest way to reach your existing audience with information you want to relay.
Consider a Brand Management Package for your start-up or small business to ensure you reach your target audience while giving your more time to focus on products and services.

Your Alaska business needs online brand marketing Contact us today to talk about this and so much more!

Need Web Design For Your Anchorage Business? We Answer 3 Common Questions.

Are you considering some new web design for your Anchorage Alaska business, but you’re not sure where to start? Tons of questions come up when starting to look for web design for your Anchorage business; we answer 3 common questions below.

Anchorage Alaska Web Design

What’s The Most Effective Kind of Web Design?

Each market is specific in its own “most effective” kind of marketing and design. Depending on your target clientele, you may find it more effective to put more time into your website over an email blast campaign, or vice versa. Knowing your market and your business will help determine the most effective design for your Anchorage business.

How Do I Get Started?

Everything starts with an idea. What do you want to tell your clients about your Anchorage business? Jot down a few ideas and key phrases. Sketch something if you’re artistically inclined. Gather color ideas in fabrics or paint swatches, look at other web designs that you like and see if you can explain why you like them. Voicing your idea is one of the hardest things about design- figuring out how to express WHY you like something is incredibly useful in getting your design to look the way you want!

Do I Really Need a Web Designer?

Of course you know my answer is going to be a resounding “yes”, but let me tell you why! A designer will help get the idea you have in your head onto paper (and the web!) as a real, tangible vision with a plan. Designers speak the language of color, line, and feel and can help bring your vision to life. Someone with experience in web design can ensure your concepts become something alive and effective for your audience.

Your Anchorage business needs a designer Contact us for more details!