In terms of being a website owner, this post is currently a case of ‘do I as I say not as I do’. I hope however it does provide some useful insight into the things to consider and the potential pitfalls of choosing to set up and manage your own website. This first part will consider aspects of planning and approach and the second post will follow with some practical issues to address and implement…
Getting there eventually for ac4designs, is better than not at all!
So ac4designs failed to write that news update for July and now the summer in Sidmouth (what there was of it) is fading away. The lesson however is not to let past failings get in the way of future success. Making it happen eventually is better than not making it happen at all. It’s just not as good as making it happen now, but that remains something that we can control.
Busy, busy in July and August
Actually it is not that I have been idle far from it! Work for LTP in developing an online marketing strategy has keep ac4designs busy, busy! An email campaign database management and template delivery system has been established. The system used is Campaign Monitor and a number of test campaigns have already been run. The next key objective is to complete training to allow in house campaign delivery to be completed. This will allow branded message delivery without the need to for external resource. This has provided LTP with a cost effective and direct means of delivering key messages to various customer segments.
Analysis is vital in developing your website. Integration of Google Analytics in January 2012 to the LTP website is now delivering valuable data. This is now being used to drive adjustments to improve the current site. Content has been adjusted and results are currently being reviewed before further development. There is still much to do but adjustments since July have seen a 15-20% increase in traffic! The LTP mission didn’t stop there. A branded Twitter account @LTP_UK was also established. The focus is twofold. Connecting and sharing with tile and natural stone sellers, fitters and suppliers as well as architects and industry related individuals. 300 plus followers gained inside 2 months shows much potential. This will be supported by the LTP_UK_Technical blog. Created to deliver LTP’s extensive experience gained over 25 years. The blog will deliver product updates and case studies that deal with issues relating to natural stone and tiles in relation to staining, protecting, and renovating. Finally the LTP branded Facebook page has also been established and this will be developed in coming months.
And of course there was also the normal label updates and print advertising!
There was also time to assist Dorringtons with another own brand label. This time it was for coffee as they continue to develop the range of additional products that they offer. I was particularly pleased to be able to offer advice that allowed a far superior label solution to be produced, without a significant cost increase.
And for ac4designs…
The backdrop to all this has been some major planning and rethinking for ac4designs. A full-time business launch based in Devon is planned for January 2013. The plans are obviously highly top secret but major adjustments to the business offer are well underway. So keep an eye out for some big changes. A new website is under development along with some exciting ideas for engaging with you all out there. From January of next year ac4designs plans to make your boat go faster than you ever thought possible! This will become clear in time, promise.
Social Media the wettest June on record and the arrival of Christmas!
June was spent dodging the rain and helping a major client tackle their social media and online marketing approach. LTP, based in Wellington, Somerset have recognised the need to embrace an online marketing strategy. Work is ongoing to adjust their approach to their website and content creation and the set up of wordpress (ltptechnical) and tumbler blogs are just the start. Mean time they are jumping on board the social media train with Twitter (@LTP_UK) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/LTP.UK) and I’ll report on the progress at the end of July.
And then Christmas arrived early!
June also saw the arrival of Christmas for ac4designs as work to complete Christmas Pudding label designs was completed for my favourite bakers Dorringtons. An example of the label design is shown to the right. This continues then work to develop Dorringtons own label brand offerings featured previously. Once production is complete I can feature a full review and an image of the completed package.
New time saving software, Yippeeee!
FunctionFox is currently under trail as part of the ac4designs business development plan and I am pleased to report it looks jus fantastic. This software is just so easy to use and will provide superb levels of project management and time recording. No more handwritten time sheets and full analysis of projects. The handy stop start time clock function app for my iphone is just so cool.
Design and branding have to take a back seat – The Jubilee celebrations are to blame!
Actually thats not really true, but I design and branding did certainly did take a back seat with all the jubilee celebrations both nationally and locally in Newton Poppleford. Hats off to all those that put together the events that took place in and around Newton Poppleford. Much fun was had by all and it was great to see so may Brits coming together to celebrate.
I for one say long live the Queen!
Posting this news-up-date almost two weeks late means I will be giving myself a slap on the wrists (but not to hard we had to celebrate the Jubilee). May was a busy month for ac4designs so heres a round up of what went on.
New business identity
Firstly I am please to announce the completion of an initial business identity to launch FST.UK the UK’s Leading Experts in Fascial Stretch Therapy.
Based at Darts Farm in Devon FST.UK provide an innovative form of muscle stretch and preparation specifically aimed at athletes looking to improve performance. Steve Pavis, one of a select number of qualified instructors in the UK, will be launching this new venture to compliment his current Pilates Studio SMP Piliates. As well as creating an initial identity I have been providing Steve with plenty of advice regarding domains, web set up and getting his business identity protected with a trade mark.
I will hope to get more visuals and details added to the site shortly.
Own label branding for packaging and labelling
Also complete and now at production are several projects for Dorringtons a bakers based in Hertfordshire. I continue to help Dorringtons define their brand with designs for gift tins and biscuit boxes, own label designs for jams and chutneys and an as yet to be confirmed new project.
So watch this space for final presentation photos and an update on that latest task.
The ac4designs Facebook challenge!
Finally I also decided it was time to try and reach the magic 30 likes on my Facebook page by the end of last month. Didn’t quite manage this but did climb from 3 to 15 ( less than 7 days) simply by asking via Facebook and Twitter for people to do so. Many thanks to all those EC friends that helped out and perhaps there is a lesson for us all in there? If you don’t ask you don’t get! Oh and if any one fancies liking my page I am trying again to reach 30 this month. These cows like me! So can you… www.facebook.com/ac4designsMain
Thats all for now folks… accept for one last thought… in this month of EURO 2012…
Watching the England football team is a little like watching paint dry. Tedious. You just hope it dries back the right colour (which in England’s case it usually doesn’t).