So Wise Co | Graphic Design, Websites, and Marketing Fredericksburg and Culpeper, Virginia http://www.sowise.co Designed with you in Mind Sun, 04 Jan 2015 17:51:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Like Father, Like Daughter – Advertising is a family thing. http://www.sowise.co/branding/like-father-like-daughter-advertising-is-a-family-thing/ http://www.sowise.co/branding/like-father-like-daughter-advertising-is-a-family-thing/#comments Wed, 03 Dec 2014 19:58:54 +0000 http://sowise.co/?p=2283 I’m proud to say that I’ve learned so many great advertising and marketing skills from my father, a successful business owner for nearly 40 years. He learned from trial and error what worked, how and why, and what happens when you fail to advertise at all.

We recently wrapped a recording session at the radio station for his newest radio spot. I was excited to in the commercial with him. We’ve found for his business market that the personal touch of including family and adding memorable humor really works. And I can prove it. People stop me WEEKLY and tell me they heard me on the radio for my dad. AND we’ve stopped counting how many people say, “I came here because I heard you on the radio.” THAT is the result of a committed, creative, long term marketing investment.

My father taught me that each business is unique within each market. Finding what works and committing to the long term plan are the keys to success. And it can be fun along the way, too!

 

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Updating Your Website is One Key to Success http://www.sowise.co/do-it-yourself-tips/updating-your-website-is-one-key-to-success/ http://www.sowise.co/do-it-yourself-tips/updating-your-website-is-one-key-to-success/#comments Sun, 02 Nov 2014 16:55:45 +0000 http://sowise.co/?p=2056 Customers ask me on a regular basis “How much do I need to update my website?”

The many benefits to owning a website include: 1) online credibility that we are the business we say we are, 2) proof that we aren’t “fly by night” businesses, 3) proof of our commitment to modern society’s standards of communication (not outdated, but current and relevant), and 4) being easily accessible to our customers.

The not so easy to understand aspect to websites: Updating a website is equally important to owning a website.

  1. Did you know that search engines regularly look to see how “fresh” your content is?
  2. Did you know that your “fresh” level WILL AFFECT your search engine rankings compared to you your competitors websites?
  3. And did you know that an outdated appearance is dismissed immediately by potential customers? A site that looks stagnant can hurt your marketing more than it could help.
  4. Are your competitors updating and improving their websites? The longer you ignore your own website, the less relevant it becomes in comparison to your competitors and on search engines.

You may be too busy to update your website. But your competition is not.

Take steps today to update your site. Freshen the words. And an updated photograph. Include your newest service. It only takes a few minutes every couple of weeks to keep a great impression online. You’ll be glad you did.

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Considering business Greeting Cards? Great for customer retention! http://www.sowise.co/branding/considering-business-greeting-cards-great-for-customer-retention/ http://www.sowise.co/branding/considering-business-greeting-cards-great-for-customer-retention/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2014 09:12:11 +0000 http://sowise.co/?p=1923 Why Send Business Greeting Cards?


Customer Retention!

  • Develop a personal relationship with your customer.
  • Greeting cards get opened… always.
  • Stay in front of your customers.
  • Brand your business.
  • Remind them why they do business with YOU.

“Increasing customer retention by just 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.” Reichheld and Schefter, Harvard Business Review 

Christmas Cards & New Year Cards are FUN, easy, obvious, simple, friendly, personal and effective. Touching base with our existing customers doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. I do them at the same time I do my family holiday cards and it really puts me in the “Christmas spirit.” Plus, I write them off as a marketing expense. And I have found that each year it provides a spark of renewed contacts, new conversations and new work.


Personalized Business Branding Greeting Cards. So Wise Co. will design a greeting card for your business that incorporates your logo and brand, along with just the right message or offer for your customers. We can print your cards and help with mailing them too.

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What bad messages is your social media sending? http://www.sowise.co/business-image/what-bad-messages-is-your-social-media-sending/ http://www.sowise.co/business-image/what-bad-messages-is-your-social-media-sending/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 09:45:40 +0000 http://sowise.co/?p=2251 I was recently shopping for a flooring installer to help with a project around the house. I liked the advertising of one company so I went to the website and ended up on their twitter account. Their advertising would have me believe they were the best option around. But their social media told me a completely different story.

Checking their Facebook to see what the people are saying about pricing or if there are any special offers not listed on their website. Hmmm last update on Facebook was 2012. Odd… but okay maybe they diverted efforts from Facebook.

Moving on to their Twitter account, let’s see what their tweets have to say.  Oh great!  I see a post from two weeks ago. Yes!! Now we are on to something. And I see their top tweet was in response to a customer service complaint. And now I’m thinking, “This company is responsive and open communication – now I’m feeling the love for this company.”

But wait, then I see that there’s another service complaint followed by another and another. Wait a minute! Their entire twitter feed is blown up with nothing but service complaints for as far back as I can see. And the company’s reply is the same answer over and over. They displayed no proactive tweets or efforts to engage their satisfied customers that I can see. SIGH. Major disappointment.

This company just lost my business.  Because they’ve mismanaged their social media and in one glance I had a rap sheet of all the complaints I might expect if I hire them. Well, actually my biggest concern was if I hired them and had a complaint, would I be victim to this same unsatisfactory response on twitter? No thanks. And I wonder if their management cares at all what bad messages their social media is sending?

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A fresh look for this year’s race! http://www.sowise.co/branding/fresh-look-for-this-years-race/ http://www.sowise.co/branding/fresh-look-for-this-years-race/#comments Wed, 11 Jun 2014 00:40:36 +0000 http://sowise.co/?p=2256 Fedsericksburg-Soap-box-shirt-2014So Wise Co. is proud to be a supporting sponsor of the Fredericksburg Soap Box Derby Race. We were especially thrilled to help out with this year’s new shirt design. The 2014 Race Day swag features hot racing flames and a cool checkerboard flag.

Good luck on race day! Find out more about this event at fredericksburgsoapbox.com

See more of So Wise Co.’s designs.

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What is a Content Management System? http://www.sowise.co/do-it-yourself-tips/what-is-a-content-management-system/ http://www.sowise.co/do-it-yourself-tips/what-is-a-content-management-system/#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 12:08:36 +0000 http://sowise.co/?p=2147 We get this question a lot.

Content-Management-System-Wordpress-websitesA content management system (CMS) is a database-driven back-end to your web site. It allows website owners like you to use an easy dashboard interface or WYSSIWG (What You See is What You Get) to mange your page content and pictures on your web site.

You don’t have to know web languages to be able to update your website’s pages.  This is a great option for managing your website and reducing your costs for web maintenance.

Why should I use a Content Management Software?

It’s important to regularly update your business websites. We discussed the five top reasons to update your website last month. The management of this data is either handled by your webmaster or internally by your staff. Having a CMS website like a WordPress website can make this management an easy way to keep your content fresh and relevant to search engines, clients, and customers.

Do you have more questions about CMS? Ask us now.

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Five reasons to maintain your website http://www.sowise.co/do-it-yourself-tips/five-reasons-to-maintain-your-website/ http://www.sowise.co/do-it-yourself-tips/five-reasons-to-maintain-your-website/#comments Thu, 20 Mar 2014 13:42:59 +0000 http://sowise.co/?p=2154 maintain-websites

Perhaps you’ve heard by now that it’s a bad practice to put up a website and ignore it. But do you know why?

We bring you our top 5 reasons to have a website maintenance plan. These five reasons actually fall under TWO priorities: Avoid downtime. Stay relevant.

 

Priority ONE: Avoid website downtime

1) Having someone on-call to assist with your website woes is like being able to call a repair man when your air conditioner goes out. Do you really want to deal with it while it’s already broken and you are losing online traffic?  With the right web maintenance you can avoid down time completely or recover from a crash with lightning speed.

2) Avoid hackers. This one falls under “avoid website downtime.” Save money, data, and your online reputation. Website security threats are on the steady rise and dormant websites can be highly susceptible to tampering. It’s like leaving your mailbox filled to the brim while on vacation. It’s a signal that you aren’t paying attention. And once hacked you are at risk of losing data, being downgraded by search engines and having embarrassing moments with customers. It gets expensive to clean up. Your web host can get cranky. It’s just not a good place to be.

 

Priority TWO: Stay relevant with… everyone.

3) Your website visitors are looking for fresh content. Successful websites have accurate information and encourages visitors to do business with you. It encourages sales, keeps them coming back and especially suggests that you mean business if you are updating on a regular basis. Ignoring your website is like forgetting to change your retail displays, not dusting the shelves or not bringing in new inventory.

4) Search engines don’t like stale websites. After a period of inactivity, your website will lose rankings and drop off pages of the major search engines. After all there are other websites with newer and more relevant information.

5) Competitors are out there, regardless of your business. They are trying to outrank you and gain  your web traffic and your sales. Period.

Do you have a plan for updating your websiteGive So Wise Co. a call. We’ll provide you with easy suggestions or even a plan for having it handled for you.

 

 

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What do your fliers say about you? http://www.sowise.co/branding/what-do-your-fliers-say-about-you/ http://www.sowise.co/branding/what-do-your-fliers-say-about-you/#comments Tue, 18 Feb 2014 13:38:03 +0000 http://sowise.co/?p=2207 gc-pay--portfolio

Your sales tools say more about you than just the words on their pages.

  1. Do they match? Meaning, is your brand consistent?
  2. Do they “feel” like real brochures and fliers when the customer holds them?
  3. Do they look good on the computer screen and email to your leads successfully?

Please don’t get us wrong… there’s a time and place for black and white photo copies! But then there’s the right time for the real deal. Check out GCPay‘s sample of brochures and fliers shown above.  These are a few of their handy sales tools for trade shows and mailings. These print and email-friendly brochures help get the right message out, especially that unwritten message that says you mean business.

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Personal Websites ~ A perfect solution for diverse entrepreneurs http://www.sowise.co/business-image/personal-websites-a-perfect-solution-for-diverse-entrepreneurs/ http://www.sowise.co/business-image/personal-websites-a-perfect-solution-for-diverse-entrepreneurs/#comments Thu, 16 Jan 2014 13:43:35 +0000 http://sowise.co/?p=2194 Personal-Websites-steven-powell

Diverse entrepreneurs are facing a growing problem: “How to easily and affordably explain what ‘hat(s)’ you wear at work and at play? And how to ultimately contact you regardless of what ‘hat’ you are wearing at that moment?”

  1. Have you reached a point where you carry three or more separate business cards with your name on them?
  2. Do you debate WHICH card or which email to give to this new person you just met?
  3. Are you retired from one or more businesses, active in hobbies and are quite a bit “still in the game?”

Solution: Consider a personal website and business card. It’s your own portal on the Internet. Imagine a central point to direct people that can easily funnel everyone you meet. Our client, Steven Powell, although ‘retired’ from the traditional businesses, still consults and manages several other businesses across more than one industry. He is also very active within his community organizations. When meeting people, whether it’s for retail, construction, real estate, politics or piloting airplanes, Steve needed to easily direct people how to reach him. Our solution offered a single website and business card that make it easy for anyone to contact Steve. See his website here: stevenpowell.net.

Are you wondering how a personal website might help you? Talk to Sonja for stress-free, professional suggestions today. And in Steve’s words, ““Thank you for everything.  It is truly a pleasure to know you and deal with you.” ~ Steve Powell

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Avoid website downtime with professional web maintenance http://www.sowise.co/website/avoid-website-downtime-with-professional-web-maintenance/ http://www.sowise.co/website/avoid-website-downtime-with-professional-web-maintenance/#comments Fri, 20 Dec 2013 17:32:50 +0000 http://sowise.co/?p=2151 phone with handJust when you least expect it, someone calls to tell you your website is down.

“What do you mean my website isn’t working?” And then your mind races… “When was the last time I saw it working online?”

Most business owners we work with don’t check their websites everyday. They expect their websites to be successfully working in the background. But every now and then something happens and it’s DOWN… OFFLINE… DEAD. Panic sets in. Why is it down? For how long? Why didn’t I notice this sooner? NOW WHAT?

Fortunately, most businesses are lucky. But downtime happens more often than you might think. Sometimes it’s because a domain name doesn’t renew. Or something changed with the server. Or someone upgraded something somewhere that affected your site. Or worse… you were hacked.

What is your plan for getting back online? Here’s one plan: Pick up the phone and call So Wise Co. With a website maintenance pro like So Wise on your team it’s possible to have your website back online in a matter of minutes or hours. Often times we catch and avoid problems before they ever affect your live website. It’s an ongoing relationship that gives you peace of mind, ongoing uptime… and best of all, someone to call in an emergency.

Find out more about our website maintenance services by contacting Sonja Wise now.

 

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