Archive for the ‘Sales and marketing’ tag

Kenneth Hudson Interiors – Business profile and testimonial

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Kenneth Hudson Interiors

Kenneth Hudson Interiors

About Kenneth Hudson Interiors

Kenneth lives just outside Milton Keynes on the borders of Buckinghamshire and South Northamptonshire with his wife Sarah and two daughters, Gracie and Eliza.

Kenneth Hudson Interiors was founded in 2000. Prior to this, Kenneth worked for 18 years in and around London on many residential refurbishments. In 2010, Kenneth Hudson Interiors became a Limited Company.

He enjoys the contrast of working on contemporary interior projects as much as traditional.

Kenneth and his team currently have projects in the surrounding areas ranging from decorating single rooms to complete restorations.

Kenneth develops strong working relationships with his clients which allows projects to run smoothly and professionally. The team produces a design that suits the needs of the client, taking into consideration the available budget and type of property concerned.

The painters and decorators, plasterers, plumbers, electricians, carpenters and carpet fitters are all qualified, highly experienced and skilled craftsmen who have worked with Kenneth Hudson Interiors for many years.

Kenneth Hudson Interiors brings together all aspects of making a house a home.

About Kenneth Hudson’s website and branding

Kenneth Hudson originally approached us from a recommendation to rebrand his business including a new logo, colour scheme, website and stationery set design.

We worked closely with Ken creating many different styles and variations of logo and colour scheme before building the website.

As a member the Guild of Master Craftsmen and as a Dulux Select Decorators it was important to communicate the high quality and professional standard of the work Ken Hudson produces so the website was carefully planned and designed to reflect this

With an integrated Content management System, Ken is able to update all aspect of his website to keep it fresh and up-to-date.

Advanced Search engine optimization also means that the site indexes very well for his keywords and phrases allowing potential customers to easily find his website

What Kenneth Hudson said about working with us

“An existing client of Seven Creative,  “Penny Bruce” of “Denton Drapes” recommended that I use Seven Creative to design a website and logo  for my business.

Chris  was extremely quick in designing several logos that he thought would compliment my interiors business.

Chris promptly made any alterations that where necessary. He also went on to design  letter-heads and business cards. Needless to say, we are more than pleased with the end results.

After many conversations with Chris about the design of my site, I was very impressed with her knowledge. It was great to know that when I had sent her my content and images , Chris would produce a  professional and contemporary looking website.

Having worked with Chris , I would have no hesitation in recommending  Seven Creative. In fact, I have done so already!

Many thanks for all your hard work.” – Kenneth Hudson, Kenneth Hudson Interiors Ltd

Visit Ken’s sitewww.kennethhudsoninteriors.co.uk

Written by Chris

July 7th, 2010 at 12:47 pm

The importance of having a website

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"If your website doesn't do what it’s supposed to do, it’s pointless"

The website pictured here is a perfect example one that provides virtually no practical function whatsoever - neither form nor function.

Introduction

I was recently commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce to write a short article about the ‘importance of having a website for small businesses’.

When I looked at the ‘subject’ around which to write an article, I have to say I was a little stumped. The problem is that I just don’t agree with that statement! You might think this is a little paradoxical seeing as I earn a living building websites; however, the reason I disagree is due to the omission of several important words.

On the one hand, of course I think it’s imperative that a business has a website. The problem lies in the fact that unless the website in question is built properly, they may as well not have one.

In my many years in the business, I’ve seen countless examples of pathetic websites that are either invisible to search engines, don’t communicate their message or are just so user-un-friendly that they will never fulfil any useful function whatsoever.

For a website to actually fulfil its function it needs to be properly built, to allow it to be found on search engines, its keywords and phrases need to be properly incorporated in order for the site to appear in relevant searches, but most importantly, before a site is started, it needs to be properly planned to make sure that it actually does what its supposed to do!

If anyone were to ask me for advice before starting a website, I would tell them that the first thing they need to do is sit down and list exactly what your website must do for their business and also what other functions they’d like it to fulfil. These are the primary and secondary objectives that allow you to properly evaluate whether or not your finished website site is successful.

Obviously, I think that it is important for a business to have a website, but that website must be a successful website. If it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do, its pointless.

The importance of having a website

Getting yourself a properly planned and well built website may be one of the smartest business decisions you ever make, and I should know: My entire career I’ve been involved in helping businesses with their sales and marketing from start-ups and sole-traders to large blue-chip organizations such as the BBC, National Geographic and Motorolla.

A good website opens up a whole new world of possibilities for your business. It will work tirelessly for you, promoting your products and services twenty-four-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. It’ll save you money in print advertising and it’ll even help you break through geographical boundaries to reach people you could never normally have hoped to reach!

From a potential customer’s point-of-view, the internet will often be the first place they look to check your credentials! Your website will help you to quickly differentiate yourself from the cowboys out there by providing customer testimonials and a clear and open means of communication. Also, having your own domain name and email address @ your domain will show people you’re not a fly-by-night organisation.

Businesses who think they’ll be ‘just fine’ without a website run the risk of being left behind. Every day, people become more and more likely to use the internet as the first place they look for products, services, tradesmen and suppliers. That ‘over-the-fence’ recommendation is now an ‘over-the- internet’ one and the convenience a website provides to a potential customer has become less of a luxury and more of an expectation.

Over the past decade, business has changed, meaning traditional marketing methodologies have evolved.   A website means there’s a good chance you’ll be there at the right time, when your potential customers are ready to buy. Without a website, however, you run the risk of being, effectively, invisible.

Written by Chris

June 16th, 2010 at 10:11 am

Seven Creative April Newsletter (12th April 2010)

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A note from the editor

The newsletter this month arrives from a long way away – a very long way away – the 1950s. Mrs C and I are currently sunning ourselves on the ancient isle of Vectis in preparation for what is shaping up to be a very busy few months!

Luckily here on the Isle of Wight, the Gin flows freely and the weather is glorious, allowing us to momentarily take our minds off the impending rush.

In the news at the moment; as YouTube recently reaches its 5th birthday, I take a moment to reflect on its success – it’s grown from a simple video sharing .com start-up business into one of the cornerstones of internet culture in just 5 years!

There are many reasons why YouTube continues to be so successful – obviously, there was a niche in the market for a good method for easily posting videos online and YouTube have also never lost sight of which side their bread is buttered.  However, the number one reason for their success – and the lesson we can all learn from them – is that good content is king. That is to say, if you’re content is good, your website will attract visitors. If it’s bad, you won’t.

In this issue

  • Grown-up Instant Messenger
  • Building your personal brand
  • Virtual marketing department

Grown-up Instant Messenger

I love Skype. I’ve been using it in a business context since it was launched in 2003 and have become very reliant on it. In fact, if we had to stop using it, it would be painful!!!

On the face of it, Skype offer a similar service to MSN Messenger, however, there are some very useful features besides ‘instant chat’ that can be used for both business and pleasure and even save you money!

Skype charges a nominal fee for calling landlines and mobiles in the UK, however, if you need to phone abroad, it can also often be a very cheap alternative. If memory serves correctly, the connection between your computer and telephone exchange local to where you’re calling is free as it uses the internet. The only part you have to pay for is the connection between that local exchange and the phone you’re calling which is normally a lot cheaper than calling from your home phone where you pay for the whole thing. You can also SMS worldwide from your desktop, which can come in very handy sometimes!

Other free features include worldwide video conferencing or video chat – useful for keeping in touch with relatives abroad, and file sending – great for small documents like Word or Excel.

If you’re travelling abroad, why not save money by taking advantage of free internet access and use Skype to keep in touch and make and receive calls for a fraction of the price your mobile provider would charge? You can also get Skype on many of the newer mobiles and hand-held devices.

Skype is available to download for free from Skype.com and if you’d like to add me as a contact, start the application, click on ‘new’ then ‘new contact’ and do a search for ‘chris-day’

Building your personal brand

If you’ve ever ‘googled’ yourself it’s pretty likely that, like me, you’re no where to be found. Surely this doesn’t accurately reflect your lifetimes’ achievements so far? Why should a 14 year old with the same name as you, venting their unusual views on modern music, appear high in the rankings but you’re in the metaphorical desert of the search engine world? And anyway, does this even matter?

Spending years running your business, living and breathing your vocation will inevitably start to turn you into an expert in your field. Your personal business worth (in an hourly-rate sense) is based on other people’s perception of your knowledge, ability and experience. If you love what you do and you’re an expert in your field, surely your ‘hourly rate’ should reflect this and increase proportionally?

Differentiating yourself from the amateurs or those with less ability and experience is the thing that will allow you to command a higher hourly rate; however, this is sometimes very difficult to do!

Culturally, self-promotion is often something that is often looked down on. Derogative words and phrases like ‘big head’ or ‘bragger’ are used to deride those that talk proudly about their achievements. Victoria Wood summed it up well when she said ‘we don’t  flaunt, we tut’; however, shouting about your achievements and what a great job you’ve done is perfectly acceptable when done by someone other than yourself such as a grateful client!

Letting people know how good you are at what you do is not bragging – rather it’s an important and vital exercise if you are going to move forward (and upwards) in your field. It will not only help you command a higher rate but also open new doors and opportunities for you. As such, it’s worth spending time investing in your personal brand by making a name for yourself. For example, speaking at colleges, universities or events may not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but, it will often lead on to work. Writing articles for websites and collecting testimonials for your website will also help promote you and your services. Why not write a press release when you’ve got an exciting bit of news? There’s a good chance you can get it into at least the local paper!

You’re only as good as people perceive you to be – you need to make sure their perception is correct.

Virtual marketing department

This week here at Seven Creative’s country retreat, we’re taking a well earned break from the rigours of work. Earlier in the newsletter we mentioned that we’re looking towards a very busy few months which, as I’m sure you’ll already know, is one of the nicer problems you can have in business!

After the events of the final few months of 2009, we resolved to put our money where our mouths are and prove we know what we’re taking about. Now in 2010 we’ve already beaten all previous years’ records – which is quite an achievement (even if I do say so myself!) – And we’ll be almost certainly continuing our record breaking year.

This is something we can do for you too.

Business is a fine balance between ‘working on’ and ‘working for’ your business.  However, the majority of small to medium businesses spend the majority of their time working ‘for’ their businesses. One is a short-term activity and the other is a long-term investment.

The recession, for example, took many businesses by surprise and those without a strong enough business model have suffered!

If you’re interested in talking to us about how we can boost your business by providing a virtual marketing department, give us a call or drop us an email

In the next issue

  • Business promotion – blogging
  • Creative advertising revenues
  • Simple SEO

And finally…

As we reach the end of Easter and we resolve to make sure we’ve got Sky boxes in more than one room next year so that Day Jnr can watch Spongebob and Disney films far away from our ever hurting ears, I’m reminded of a quote I once heard on the subject of sharing:

“Hedgehogs. Why can’t they just share the hedge?” – Dan Antopolski

From all of us here at Seven Creative’s island getaway; we wish you a continuing happy and prosperous year.

Written by Chris

April 12th, 2010 at 10:06 am

Sales and marketing optimisation

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Consider the alternatives

If you were in any doubt that offline advertising spend had fallen in 2009, this physical comparison between the Yellow Pages directories from 2009 and 2010 should convince you. The 2010/11 edition is literally 40% thinner than the 2009/10 edition.

According to IAB (2010), in the UK, the entire advertising sector contracted by 16.6% in the first half of 2009, however, the online advertising share grew by 4.6% to a record 23.5% share of the market.

Obviously, in the midst of a recession, you’d expect advertising spend to decline, however, it seems as if many companies are realising that the traditional forms of advertising and marketing may not be the best way to reach customers and deciding rather to look towards the internet.

Google dominates the pay-per-click (PPC) advertising world with a 65.4% market share (AFP, Feb 2010) and for most people, they’re the only place they’ll ever think of advertising online.

There is, however, another way!

The primary objective, when deciding your marketing approach, will be to give you the best return-on-investment (a.k.a. ROI) which, to put it another way, basically means get the most customers for the least spend.

Google advertising is great for some businesses, but for others, it’ll never work – potential customers simply don’t use the internet to find some kinds of suppliers. Even for the businesses where it potentially works well, so much money is sometimes wasted through poorly researched and implemented key-phrases and badly-planned campaigns that they never reach their potential. Besides this, as the main player in the PPC world, competition for key words and phrases can be fierce!

Social network advertising, on the other hand, has shown some fantastic results with campaigns we’ve run recently. One of the main problems with Google PPC  is you are only able to target customers geographically. Social Network Marketing, on the other hand, allows you to also target customers demographically and psychographically!  As a relatively new avenue, the current costs can be much lower than Google PPC and you have the option to also pay by impression if you’d prefer.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) as another way to boost your organic search engine rakings. Whereas the results can sometimes be much less tangible than the PPC campaigns; a well optimised web site can give a much better ROI over time.

If you’re certain that traditional Search Engine PPC is the one for you, consider Bing, Microsoft’s search engine competitor to Google and Yahoo. Bing is currently gaining search engine market share from Google and Yahoo remains a force in the market.

Whichever you choose, as ever, the key to getting it right is good planning.

More information

With many years experience of online and offline advertising campaign planning, setup and management, Seven Creative are perfectly placed to help your business get the best ROI by optimising your sales and marketing activity

If you’d like Seven creative to help you with your marketing strategy, give us a call on 0114 383 0711 (international: +44  114 383 0711) or contact us through the website