From the Marketing Mentor: How to Research Your Best Prospects

Whenever I try to market my creative services business, it seems that what I look for in finding prospects are too vague. Plus, I was focusing more on building my portfolio and updating my marketing materials, that finding prospects is placed dead last in my marketing to-do list. How do I offer my services if I don’t have clients, let alone prospects?

Ilise Benun, founder and owner of Marketing Mentor, provided some insights on YouTube on how to find your dream clients through “mining.” She provided some very useful nuggets that I’m planning to use right away.

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A Wine Tasting and Networking Opportunity in Clifton, NJ

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The Association for Women in Communications – New Jersey Chapter (AWCNJ) is hosting their last networking event of the year with wine tasting and tapas on Wednesday, June 24, 6:30-9:00 pm at Spuntino’s in Clifton, NJ. It’s a great way to celebrate the start of summer while building your professional network. As AWCNJ’s way of saying “thank you” for your support throughout the year, AWCNJ is picking up part of the tab! The cost to attend this kickoff to summer is just $25 for both members and non-members.

AWCNJ Wine Tasting and Summer Networking Party
Wednesday, June 24, 2015, 6:30-9:00 p.m.
Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas
70 Kingsland Rd, Clifton, NJ 07014

Click here for more info and to register. Don’t forget those business cards!

Introducing HealthyFitPina – My Health and Fitness Blog

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I just launched my own personal blog chronicling my health and fitness journey called HealthyFitPina.com. I was inspired to start this blog after losing over 15 lbs. since January 2015. The site will soon include weight loss and fitness tips, as well as my own personal experiences trying to reach my health goals.

I always wanted to launch a personal blog that is outside the graphic design and marketing world. Even though I’m still continuing yvenia.com, I will also be blogging HealthyFitPina.

Click here to learn more about the logo I designed, which actually uses the colors from my running sneakers. Make sure to visit my new blog here.

AWCNJ Hosting “You Don’t Have to Shout to Stand Out” – Tuesday, May 19th

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Don’t Shout…Stand Out!

The Association for Women in Communications – New Jersey (AWCNJ) is hosting a networking event on Tuesday, May 19th on how to speak with others – in the workplace and in your network – so you can build strong connections with ease. Whether you’re in business for yourself, in corporate, or in a job search, you need strong business conversation skills so that you can comfortably and confidently advocate for yourself. Learn how you can present your ideas more effectively by joining AWCNJ for a night of networking and dinner at Cucina Calandra in Fairfield.

Christine Clifton, MBA
Christine Clifton, MBA

You Don’t Have to Shout to Stand Out
Say What You Need to Say, So You Can Get Where You Want to Go, and Earn What You’re Worth
Presented by Christine Clifton, MBA

Cucina Calandra (next to the Best Western Fairfield Executive Inn)
244 Route 46 East, Fairfield, NJ
Tuesday, May 19
6:30-9:00 p.m.
Price: $35.00 (for members AND non-members)
Price includes dinner (Chicken Francese, Pasta, Pastries, Tea & Coffee)

Click here to learn more and to register for the event!

Web and Digital Marketing Trends

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Digital marketing is very effective in building and promoting your business. From having a website, to email marketing, to social media, businesses have more exposure to the masses than traditional marketing.

If your goal is starting your own business or if you’re planning to take your business to the next level, here are a few top business marketing and design trends to consider while building your brand online:

Website designs are looking bolder and easier to navigate. Websites are a lot more responsive. What does that mean? In web design, having a responsive website means that the layout is scalable so that it’s easily viewable through a computer, tablet and smartphone. More customers are purchasing products through their tablets and smartphones than their desktop computers. Your website should be well-designed and user-friendly in those platforms so that customers can come back for more.

Content: More visual, less text. Visual content, such as photos and graphics, can help tell a story a lot more than text and can help promote something more effectively. Plus, having a consistent look and feel — for example, logo and colors — to your website, as well as other digital platforms, can help build your brand. Don’t get me wrong – the written content (or text) is just as effective, as long as information is short and to the point.

Social media continues to dominate. Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr…the list of social media channels keeps growing. Even though there are many social media channels to choose from, you don’t need to use all of them. Whichever social media channel you choose depends on how much you use it and your purpose of using it. For example, some businesses would find Facebook and Twitter more effective in promoting than Pinterest and Instagram. Here’s an informative “cheat sheet” on some of the popular social media networks and how each network is best used for business.

Email marketing provides a lot more value to your business. To some people, email marketing is perceived as “junk mail” and tend to delete from their inboxes. However, email marketing offers a lot more value than people realize, especially when it comes to offering important content. The purpose of email marketing is to inform customers and prospects of what’s going on in your business or industry. Plus, email marketing usually provides a “bridge” to your website, which can act as your site’s promotional tool. So whether you’re promoting a new product, recapping an event, or just want to provide something newsworthy, email marketing can be an effective marketing tool.

Here’s one informative article that I found on Business2Community on “why email marketing is still in style.”

Metrics is actually more important than you realize. You have your website and you’re promoting your business via email and social media, but do you know if people are taking notice? Websites and other digital accounts usually have metrics reporting tools to track how many people are visiting your site, what pages are more popular than others, and for long have a visitor viewed your site.

If you’re looking to expand your business online and want to take advantage of the digital marketing tools that are out there, please contact me.

yvenia Web Solutions is a partnership between yvenia Design and ma WebCenters®, an innovative Internet marketing company specializing in business website design, eCommerce and hosting services. Here are five reasons why yvenia Web Solutions can help promote your business.

Sources:
Success in 2015, MA Webcenters Blog, 12/22/14.
Why Email Marketing Is Still in Style — And Thriving, Business2Community, 3/11/15.
Social Media Cheat Sheet, Ad Week, 10/2014.

Portfolio Update: Promo Banners for Leadership Workshop

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Just added some design pieces in the portfolio. I designed three custom social media banners promoting a networking event/leadership workshop in Madison, NJ, co-hosted by The Association for Women in Communications – New Jersey and Women in Computing – Northern NJ. Please click the graphic above to learn more about it.

If you’re in northern NJ, you’re welcome to attend this exciting and informative event, which includes an opportunity to network with colleagues and friends over a light buffet dinner. Afterwards, Kathleen Cashman of Cashman Consulting, LLC is presenting a workshop, Your Best You – Tapping the Leader Within, to help you identify your leadership skills and formulate a personal action plan to develop and utilize them right away.

For more information about the event and to register, click here to go to AWCNJ’s site.

Getting Back to Art Basics at Pinot’s Palette

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Yesterday, I was at my cousin’s bridal shower at Pinot’s Palette in Montclair, a BYOB art studio that provides a really cool concept of teaching a painting class while having fun with friends over food and wine.

I never heard of Pinot’s Palette until I went to the bridal shower and I have to say that this place offers a fun atmosphere for everyone, whether you’re an artist or not. You get to network and catch up with friends while admiring the artwork hanging on the wall. The place is also great for date night, a girl’s night out, birthday parties, and even for unique bridal showers. All you have to do is bring your own food and drinks, and Pinot’s provide the paints, brushes and canvases. Depending on the location, the Pinot’s Palette also offers general art classes and holds private parties at their spacious studio, which you have to reserve in advance. I definitely recommend this place if you want something different than a usual happy hour at a bar.

One of the activities we did at the shower was to paint flowers in celebration of spring (even though it’s snowing right now!). I haven’t used a paint brush in over 15 years and it felt like I was a student back in my art school days before all the things that adults had to do — working, paying bills, having responsibilities. I definitely have to thank Pinot’s Palette for bringing back the artist in me after not painting (or doing anything artistic outside of the computer) for many years.

yvenia Gets a New Look

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Happy New Year! Now that the new year is here, it’s time for this website to get a new look! I’ve been wanting to update the site design for over a year.

Using the latest WordPress theme, Sketch, I wanted the site to be more visually intensive and focus more on my projects, even though I’m still continuing to blog updates on my design business and other related graphic/web design posts. Plus, this theme has a “Portfolio” feature where I can add my design projects easily in a grid-like format.

I’m still updating my projects, but the site design is complete. I do have to say I’m still learning about this WordPress theme, so if anyone currently uses Sketch, tell me what you think about it.

Women in Communications Hosts Annual Holiday Party – Thursday, December 4

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Banner designed by yvenia Design.

The Association for Women in Communications – New Jersey Chapter (AWCNJ) is hosting a very festive networking event on Thursday, December 4, 6:30pm, at Que Pasta Italian Restaurant in Saddle Brook, NJ.

Family owned and operated, Que Pasta’s signature product is their freshly made pasta — all made in-house and served along with their homemade sauces. So come and enjoy delicious food and drinks while basking in the engaging company of your friends from AWCNJ! There’s also an entertaining gift exchange that’s sure to lift your spirits.

Gift Exchange
Have an item lying around your house that deserves another home? Wrap it up and we’ll throw it in the grab bag for our gift exchange. We know we’ll get some chuckles.

Donation
Please bring along a non-perishable food item (canned or packaged) to donate to the local food pantry.

Price:
Members/Non-Members: $35 / Students: $25

Bring all your holiday spirit and we’ll see you at the party!

Register here for the AWCNJ Annual Holiday Party!

Questions? Please email programs@awcnj.org.