Your prospective client is judging you from the moment they first hear your company name. That might seem like an intimidating thought; but don’t panic about it. See it as the opportunity that it is – the chance to create impact and stand out from the crowd.
If you’re ready to win more business and take your company further, here’s how to make the right impression at every stage of the customer journey.
Making the perfect first impression
Sort your website out. If you haven’t updated your website for years, now might be the time to give it an overhaul. A dated site suggests that you haven’t got the funds to improve it, or that you don’t care. Neither of these are likely to appeal to a new client! You don’t necessarily have to start from scratch – even updating the content and the images can make a big difference.
Check your branding. Your brand is a promise. It’s a declaration of what you can offer your customers, plus a representation of your ethos and practices. If it’s dull, unmemorable or poorly thought-out, this will adversely impact your business. Work with a team of professionals to tidy your branding up, or even change it altogether. Although it feels like a seismic step to take, it’ll be worth it in the long-run.
Work on your customer service skills. Customers want to work with businesses who are approachable, honest and professional. If your customer service responses come over as hostile, uninterested or amateurish, it’s likely that the client will look elsewhere. All your responses (email, social media and on the phone or Skype), should fit with your brand, and convey the right message.
Make sure the offering is good. Here’s where those USPs come into play. What makes you special? How can you emphasise that on your website, social media accounts and elsewhere? After all, it’s those USPs that’ll win you business. If your offering isn’t as impressive as you’d like, think about what you can change. For example, can you offer super-fast delivery? A more consultative approach? A wider range of products? If you’re not sure what to offer, look at your competition and see what they’re doing.
Present yourself well. Remember, you’re a vital part of your brand. As such, you should look the part whenever you’re in front of your client; whether that’s in your shop or via a Skype video. Wear a suit if appropriate, make sure you look well-groomed, and present yourself professionally. Remember that the devil is in the details. For example, a powerful fragrance like Aventus Creed is likely to make a good impression, and if those shoes aren’t polished, trust us – someone will notice.
Be positive. A good positive mental attitude is integral to running a business. Negativity is immediately evident to clients, no matter how well you think you’re hiding it. Approach all customer interactions as positively as possible, as this will be conveyed in the email or phone conversation.
One of the key services we provide for industry clients is the production and distribution of press releases on their behalf. Very often a client will have a great news story, but not be aware of how to publicise it to best effect, or not have the resource in-house. We have been writing press releases for clients for many years, and know what makes a great story and who might be interested in it.
For example, we have just written and distributed a press release for one of our industrial clients – Aish Technologies. Aish has recently appointed a new senior management figure into a new role at the company and wanted to make sure the industry knew about it. Our service involves interviewing the individual to find out more about him, where he has come from, what are his first impressions of the business and where does he see the future of the company heading. From the interview we will write a draft press release, take some photographs that can be used for the PR and in future marketing activities, and then distribute the release to our established database of local and industrial trade press contacts.
We’re starting a Pro Editing series, aimed at those who are serious about creating slick, professional looking photography and video content.
We will be sharing top tips from our highly skilled team, with tricks on how to get the best out of editing software and our thoughts on new developments and programs. We also have a lot to say about Mojave – but we shall save that for another day. Today, we are going to be talking about Colour Grading.
Colour grading is a powerful tool when it comes to telling a story. The whole mood of a video can change with some simple colour grading – providing you ensure all the frames flow and have the same look. Our 5 pro colour grading tips will give you a good understanding of what to look for and where to start.
The Key Light
The key light is the term given to the main light for your photograph, whether that be natural light (a window) or artificial (a lamp for example). You need to establish where the key light is coming from before your colour grade begins.
It’s really important to balance the exposure and ensure the white balance is correct at the start. This, in simple terms, is getting the white, white. It may not sound that important, but it sets the tone for the whole frame.
Use Hue/Saturation Curves Tool
Using the hue and saturation curve option enables you to make precise, easy adjustments to the saturation/brightness of specific colours. For example, if you want to increase the saturation of red in the frame, simply use the RGB Curve to alter the levels of red.
Consider using LUTs
A LUT (Look Up Table) is a modifier between two images. There are some great ones available online and if used well they will give your video a great effect (more in-depth post on using LUTs effectively soon)
Don’t go over board
When it comes to colour grading it is very easy to get carried away. Subtle changes are often the most effective. You want to achieve a polished professional look, not a fake one.
The world of website design never stands still, which is why we should take a moment to review what the current trends in design are heading into 2019. How many of these boxes can your website tick?
Since 2015, mobile searches have exceeded desktop searches, making mobile search the highest worldwide. As a result, Google changed the way in which they index sites and now they prioritise mobile friendly sites, even over the loading speed of a website. This has created a methodology whereby websites are designed for a mobile device first and then adjusted for a desktop second. Not only does this benefit your SEO and ranking, but it gives the consumer a much better experience.
Clean, minimalist designs are characterized by loading quickly and are currently sought after for two very important reasons. Firstly, both the mobile users and desktop browsers can experience a website that loads almost instantaneously. And secondly, they are regarded as having a high SEO value, as a clean, minimalist design will help a site fulfil a lot of the speed requirements that search engines require.
Minimalistic needn’t mean boring though; the use of contrasting colours, icons, bold headings can look fantastic. It’s all about prioritising content and getting creative.
Grids & text overlay
Grids with a text overlay are quickly replacing the usual side bars and menus, due to their modern look and particularly asymmetrical designs. They point viewers to the content they are looking for and also help to keep the home page looking simplistic and fresh.
Despite the trend towards clean flat designs to improve speed and responsiveness, video backgrounds continue to grow in popularity as we head in to 2019. There is strong evidence that video backgrounds increase conversions, as they are far more engaging for visitors than text or images will ever be. Interested parties will land on your home page and watch the video, therefore decreasing your bounce rate and, because Google loves video, improving your SEO.
Single Page Design
A final trend for 2019 sees the growth of single page websites, to tap into the requirement for minimal design and faster loading speeds. Definitely not suitable for all businesses, the single page website is a great tool for those looking to drive visitor traffic to a contact point, without them getting distracted by other content.
Check out our website design page to view some of the websites our team have designed and as always if you need any help with bringing your own web design ideas to life give us a call on 01202 682322 or email email@example.com.
A spike in export sales has been noticed in the Q4 business report produced by Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce. Nearly 50% of manufacturers have seen a rise in sales as compared to just 24% in Quarter 3.
The increase is thought to be linked to the impending deadline for Brexit, as businesses have found non-UK manufacturers trying to beat the departure deadline. In particular, some manufacturers – including the car industry – are preparing to pre-empt Brexit in case of any ‘no deal’ chaos at Britain’s ports and airports. Also, some car manufacturers have announced plans to bring forward their annual shutdown to coincide with the UK’s departure from the EU.
Raj Kandola, the senior policy and patron adviser of the GBCC, commented:
“Much has been said about what might happen if there is no deal – of course, no-one knows with any certainty what the outcome will be, but business hates any kind of uncertainty and are clearly putting Plan B into action now, just in case. It would be churlish to downplay the impact that a disorderly Brexit could have on the regional economy and the country as a whole. Whilst we cannot predict what the future will bring, the GBCC will be on hand to support local businesses to ensure they put practical steps in place to ready themselves for what is likely to be an extremely unpredictable and ever-changing landscape.”
The buoyancy and durability of business in the region is one of the reasons The Collective recently opened its new Satellite office in Birmingham. James Howes, Managing Director, added:
“I was in Birmingham before Christmas and when talking to manufacturers you got a real sense of determination to take away the uncertainty and ensure businesses are fully prepared for what the end of March may bring. It is so encouraging to see this approach and is why we are excited to be working with manufacturers across the region and helping them promote their messages across the world”.
Full details of the report are available at www.greaterbirminghamchambers.com Story Source: Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce