Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanks for Your Business, Kindness, and Support

On the eve of Thanksgiving, as I rush around to prepare for my small family gathering, I just wanted to quickly post my thanks to friends, colleagues, and clients for entrusting me, helping me, and sending me the encouragement that I (and so many other entrepreneurs) need along the way. I am thankful for each and every professional experience because I know they all contribute to growth and innovation that ultimately allow my clients to reap the greatest benefit. Without getting too philosophical, I think it's fair to say that there is enough business for us all and I am grateful for others who, like me, believe in the power of referrals. I am thankful too for healthy competition across all industries which allows us to make buying decisions according to our individual values and preferences. There are many things I feel persoanlly thankful for, but I will save that for a different media. While I wish there were a day designated for wishes, as well as thanks, I will save my list of wishes for a future post . . .

I invite you to post your thoughts this holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving to all and their families!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Marketing Seminar in January 2009

It's never to early to start marketing. If you are thinking about developing a plan, already have media in place but need to nail down advertising, or anticipate writer's block in the future, this seminar is for you. Mark your calendar and register online:

Title: Writing Stellar Copy: A DIY Marketing Seminar
Type: In-person
Date/Time: Wed., Jan. 14, 2009 from 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Location: Arizona Small Business Association, Prosperity Room, 4130 East Van Buren, Suite 150, Phoenix, AZ
Cost: Free
Description: This seminar is for anyone who wants to take a "do-it-yourself" approach to writing ads, brochures, or any written marketing materials to effectively speak to their prospects and customers.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

No website? No profile? No business!

Just a quick anecdotal post to convey the impact of not being found online. I am looking for an independent market research partner and keyword searches point primarily to LinkedIn profiles. "Great," I think, "I'll be able to see potential professionals' skills and contact them all in one shot!" Well, I found 3 perfect people--none of whom had links to a website with their contact information (read: they don't have websites!). I searched for them BY NAME using Google and still nothing! If they have no website (or no SEO in place) and no accessible profiles/directory listings online (with LinkedIn, Naymz, Xing, Guru, elance, facebook, myspace, etc.), how are clients finding them?

Social networking profile development and directory listings at least are no-cost ways to market so I can't fathom why everyone wouldn't create something! Further, why would someone restrict their full profile on LinkedIn or not be open to Introductions or InMail--unless they are so wealthy they don't need any business or so hermetic they don't even want to pass along business to people they know. (Incidentally, if you are ever looking for anyone to do anything, I am always happy to refer friends, collegaues, family, etc. I figure matching two people who can benefit from each other's knowledge or services is a good thing!)

Is there some downside to having a website (at least one page with your contact info) and/or profile that I missing?

P.S. If you know how to contact independent market researchers Patricia Cartier, Susan Katz, or Sheila Woods, tell them I'm looking for them.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Recommended Reading: The Elements of User Experience

Every once in a while I come across a resource that is so astute yet so easy to absorb that I want to shout about how wonderful it is--and that is how I feel about Jesse James Garrett's book, The Elements of User Experience.

In searching for a reliable, professional resource for the user-centered design of websites, I came across mention of--and many links for--this diagram called The Elements of User Experience (published 30 March 2000). I was a bit skeptical, I admit, but mostly because I expected many more authors on the subject who were (er, um) not necessarily consultants, as well as something more current.

Little did I know that it's the nature of the field since the web began. There seems to be relatively few experts at the macro-level and limited recognition or understanding of the user experience design field at-large among my network of designers and engineers. But after practically devouring his book, I am convinced Mr. Garrett is the guru.

From his clear breakdown of all that's involved and the division between two communities--technical software designers and information scientists--and their distinct terminologies and approaches, it's no wonder that we might be familiar with portions of the web development process and the titles of those who perform those functions (e.g., information architect, content developer, business analyst) as well as the outcomes (e.g., functional specification, sitemap, architecture diagram, wireframe, etc.) without really being able to understand the big picture.

Thank you Jesse James Garrett for pulling it all together! Your book is an incredible resource and one I highly recommend to anyone creating or revising their site . . . and your blog is pretty clever too. (The only thing I wish for is a glossary of all the terms should you or one of your known accomplices be up for the task!)

. . . And anyone who doesn't want to read the book can just hire me to assemble a team to apply the elements to their site in order to ensure happy users. :)