BoyDog Design
Design and more…

We all know the importance of networking as a means to expand our business contacts and spark word of mouth recommendations and commentary about a service or product. One of the fastest growing networking outlets online today is LinkedInI’m on LinkedIn. Unlike other more social sites, like Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn offers a professional environment to conduct your online networking activities. It’s a wonderful way to keep in touch with those you currently work with and re-establish or continue corresponding with professionals outside your workplace. I can see how it would be useful to students as they begin to establish themselves in their field and form alliances that will help them in the years to come. You can also create a listing for your business that people can follow. There are groups you can join and reap the benefits from having access to the discussions and comments of others in your industry. These groups can provide contacts, answer questions, provide insight, pass along job postings, and support you through the ups and downs you may experience.

So who uses LinkedIn? According to this Infographic:

  • 61% are men
  • High tech, financing, and manufacturing are the most represented
  • Sales, academic and administrative functions are the most common job functions

That’s a small sampling of the information provided. It doesn’t really matter how predominantly your gender or your profession are represented on LinkedIn. Fact is LinkedIn is an established resource to connect with the people that you know and the people that you need to know. Give it try. And don’t forget to connect to me. I’m waiting to hear from you.

The economy appears to be clawing its way out of the abyss. Good news on so many levels. A recent forecast explains that some of the smallest of businesses (with 4 or fewer employees) plan to increase advertising this year (via Ad-ology Marketing Forecast, http://bit.ly/dF6Z62). A smart move and one that deserves a deliberate plan, preparation, and implementation.

Working with a design professional can save you money by optimizing the chance for a successful advertising campaign. Your budget may be smaller than a Fortune 500 company, but your desired outcome from your efforts are the same. Increase brand recognition, build a relationship with your market, position your product or service amongst your competitors, and open a line of direct communication.

Regardless of how you’ve advertised in the past, you can always benefit by researching new channels to reach your market. Consult with a design professional to see if there are new media outlets or a different approach. You might be surprised at how you can expand on your advertising plan. Social media, as an example, does not always require a large sum of money to be successful. Once your have an established presence in social media you most likely will be able to administer it yourself. Websites can be designed to allow a business owner to manage its content. Email campaigns can be created and implemented via reasonably priced email marketing sites.

Bottomline: You can only benefit by consulting with a design professional. Rely on their experience and expertise. It’s okay to ask for help. In the long run the money you spend working with a professional is an investment in your brand’s future success.

Update: (via ad-ology Marketing Forecast) SMBs to Shift Resources to Social Media and Video, http://bit.ly/etOHkm

A continuing fascination of mine is how we perceive what we see. The biology of it all amazes me. A recent article by Steven Bradley (via vanseodesign), http://bit.ly/hP3kEQ explains the process in a way that is easily understood. He recommends the book, “Visual Language For Designers” by Connie Malamed.

His article has definitely sparked my interest. I plan on reading the book and will let you know what I’ve learned. In the meantime I thought I’d pass along this book suggestion and the related article.