Top 5 Social Media Trends for Businesses in 2017

This article written by Ryan Holmes, Founder and CEO, Hootsuite is a great read!

I particularly like #2…Employee advocacy—encouraging and incentivizing team members to share brand messages on their own social media accounts—is poised to be a game-changer in 2017.


You CAN Design Your Own Material ~ But SHOULD You?

Should you design your own marketing materials?The advent of online print sites and their convenient templates has made it easy for businesses to create their own promotional materials. As easy and affordable as it is, should you be creating your own marketing and advertising material?

Here is why you may want to think twice:

  1. Creating your own material is cheap and easy. Using ready-made templates allows you to create “semi-professional” looking material. The problem is, it’s that easy for everyone else as well. How do you feel about someone else having the EXACT same design as you?
  2. Creating a design that WORKS takes years of schooling and experience. Your design may look “pretty” but is it actually working. Do you know how to lay out the design so that it is most readable, most engaging, and really sells your product/service?
  3. Your logo and branding is the basis for all your marketing. Without a professionally designed logo and accurate and targeted branding you’ll be swimming in the same pool as your competitors.
  4. Is it the BEST use of your time? You have your own skill set and demands. Is spending a lot of your time trying to do design work really the best use of your busy schedule…only to come up with material that is at best mediocre? Likely not.

Let a professional promote your business and events. Years of schooling and education in design and marketing have given me the tools and knowledge to promote your business in the best way possible. Crawl out of that pool with your competitors and get noticed.

Dropbox…Sharing Files the Easy Way


Recently I have discovered “Dropbox“. Dropbox is a free (yes free!!) service that allots you 2GB of storage. Any web user can use it. It allows me to share files that might be too big to email to clients, as well as sharing client proofs…so incredibly easily.

Recently I used it to allow access to a proof of an 88 page book for the Chamber of Commerce. At over 30 MB each, these files are too big to email. Dropbox made it so simple, I gave them access to the file, and they opened it on their computer. Piece of cake!

It also allows me to access my files from anywhere. Once set up its far simpler to use than an FTP site.

It has other uses such as expanding your own storage or for use as a backup. Increased storage is available at a cost.


Lost in Social Media?

When someone mentions “social media” do your eyes glaze over?

This Social Media Cheat Sheet is a fabulous summary of most social media sites…the pros, the cons, how to start, learn the lingo and their audience size. And its all put together in a colourful, well designed chart.

Keep it at your fingertips so when your friends or co-workers “talk the talk” you can at least “fake it” pretty well!

Use Adobe Reader for Proofreading

This is the second in a series of articles on “How to Save Money on Your Graphic Design Services” by Crossett Design.

The best time saver when it comes to proofreading is using Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat. It is common practice now for Graphic Designers to supply proofs in a pdf proof format to their clients.

Clients need to learn to use the tools in Adobe Reader or Acrobat. This makes life SOOOO much easier for both parties. There is no bigger time waster (read $$$) than when I have to try and make out a client’s chicken scratches, especially when they’ve been poorly scanned and sent by email. The longer it takes me to read/interpret your notes the more you are paying.

ADOBE READER IS FREE. No excuses. Download it today. When your graphic designer sends you a proof they must “enable rights in Adobe Reader” in order for you to use the tools in Reader. If you are using the (not free) Adobe Acrobat, this is not necessary.

Download Reader (did I mention its free?). How many things in this world that save you money are free? Then learn to use the markup tools, they’re easy and actually fun to use. More about how to use them effectively in a later tip. Now click on the link and download!

Edit, Edit, Edit, and Proof, Proof, Proof

This is the first in a series of articles on “How to Save Money on Your Graphic Design Services” by Crossett Design.

When you supply your designer copy/text for your brochure, manual, newsletter or whatever, get it as close to the final version as possible. Supply it in a word processing program, preferably Microsoft Word. Supplying it in an email document creates extra work for your designer.

Before supplying the document be sure to have ALL your editing done. Ensure it will comfortably fit the piece that is being produced. If you don’t know how much copy to supply ask your designer. They can give you a word count based on a rough design. Remember to allow for photos or illustrations…LOTS!

Once your copy is completely edited have it proofread. Proofread it yourself and then have someone else proofread it. Take out extra returns (only one is required at the end of a paragraph) and take out extra bar spaces. More than one in a row is never required. Have your tabs set up properly. Here again, only one tab is ever needed between columns. If you’re using more than one tab in a row, you haven’t set up your tabs correctly. If you don’t know how, ask someone that does to do it for you, or better yet teach you how. Odds are they bill a cheaper rate than your designer and will save you money in the long run.

Everytime your designer has to open your document you are being billed. Everytime you request a revision, your designer needs to open that document. Reduce the number of edits and you will reduce your bill drastically. I often bill more in revisions than the production of the original project itself…totally unecessary, totally inefficient and very expensive.

Keep your copy clean! Save money.