Web Design

Your website should reflect your individuality without emptying your bank account.

Social Media

Learn to promote your products and inform your customers using the social media platforms that fit with your audience and your resources.

Print Design

Business cards, brochures, postcards and other printed marketing materials. Custom designed to promote your business.

Logos, Branding and more . . .

A custom logo should reflect your company’s identity. Put it on a t-shirt, a hat, a tote bag . . .

Web design is not one-size-fits-all. I design websites for small businesses, entrepreneurs, freelancers, authors and non-profit organizations. Here is what you will NOT get from me:

  • A website that looks like the last website I designed for another client
  • A website that doesn’t fit your business
  • A website that won’t appeal to your customers
  • A website that looks like every other boring website on the Internet

I will design something that fits the unique personality of your business and will appeal to your customers. It will fit with other marketing materials you may already have, such as business cards or flyers. And it won’t cost a fortune. Hire me, or take a look at my prices.

Do you need help building a website for your small business?

For as long as there has been a world wide web, I’ve wanted to design and create websites. But I’m not a professional web developer. If you want a fancy, slick website with a full web store or other database features, I’m not your gal. But if you want a simple site with 3 to 20 pages, similar to this one, I can help you create it or do it for you. Or if you have one that needs a facelift, I can help with that, too.

Here are some things to consider about your small business website:

  • In most cases, it’s important to have a top level domain name (yourdomain.com is a top level domain; freewebhosting.com/yourdomain is not a top level domain).
  • There are several free hosting options where you can have your own top level domain and still pay almost nothing for a website, especially if you don’t need a store front or shopping cart.
  • A general informational website that’s attractive and easy to update yourself shouldn’t cost you more than $10 a month for hosting and domain name costs.
  • There are several solutions that allow you to have a website you can update yourself, even if you don’t know anything about web programming. So you might pay a fee to someone like me to set it up for you, and then you’ll just pay the hosting fee going forward, and only need my help if some unusual problem crops up.
  • People view websites on screens of all sizes. So your website needs to be mobile-ready. Another term for this is “responsive.” That means the design automatically rearranges itself to fit the size screen each visitor is using. It will look different on a large desktop monitor compared to your smartphone.

Services

Web design is not a one-size-fits-all procedure. That makes it hard for me to quote a list of prices. The first thing you need to know is that there are 4 costs:

  • domain name registration,
  • hosting,
  • design, and
  • content creation.

Domain names are generally about $10 – $15 per year.

Hosting can be anywhere from $4 to $20 per month or more, depending on the features you need. I can help you minimize these costs, but I’d prefer you make your own purchase of domain name and hosting.

Then I can help you with a one-time design and setup and one-time or ongoing content creation.

Pricing

Design or redesign and setup/creation of small business website of up to 7 pages: $200 (mobile-ready website included in this price)

Design/creation of each additional page: $10

Copywriting: $20-30 per hour, depending on frequency (this is to create the content I mentioned earlier).

Setting up a WordPress blog: $200 & up — this is another item the scope of which is hard to define — I can give you a better estimate of the cost of designing your whole project if we talk (does not including writing posts)

Revising an existing page I helped create: $10 – $30 depending on the extent of the revisions.

Redesign or revision of existing website I did not create: cost depends on too many factors; ask for a quote.

I can also design a logo for you if you don’t have one, or if yours needs a refresh, and I can help you set up a Facebook page, or pages that will help your business be found by local searches. Contact me to get an estimate or more information.

You want a website, but you don’t have the skills or the time to create and maintain it yourself. But you also don’t want to pay a lot of money to have someone build it for you and then a big monthly fee to keep it up-to-date. If this sounds like you, my Website Concierge service is the “just right” spot between the “too big” web design firms and their “too expensive” fees, and the “too confusing” option of trying to build your own website.
Working together, we can create a custom plan for building and maintaining your website, or just maintaining a website someone else has built in WordPress. We can negotiate a monthly fee or you can pay me by the hour, depending on what suits your needs. Contact me and we’ll work out the details.

Social media offers a low-cost way to promote your business online. But if you don’t do it right, you could do more harm than good. Get professional graphics and custom content that fits your business. Learn some tips to keep from putting your foot in your mouth and stomping on your business reputation.

Facebook

One of the challenges of using Facebook for marketing is that Facebook keeps changing how things work. You might have spent time and money setting up a Facebook page that was beautiful and state-of-the-art a year ago. Some elements of that page may no longer work, and others may look strange, due to changes Facebook has made to its website. Does that mean you should not use Facebook to market your small business? No! It’s easy to make changes to your page, or set up a new one if you don’t have one already. Keep reading to find out some details and what it costs to hire my assistance.

Every Facebook business or organization page needs to have these things:

  • A “Like” button (people “like” business pages; they don’t “friend” them).
  • A wide “cover” photo or image at the top that communicates something about your brand.
  • A square “profile picture” that is displayed on the main page and also next to any posts you create. A company logo works well in this location.
  • Your “Timeline,” which can consist of any posts, events and interaction with your customers.
  • Information about your business, including how to contact you, where you are located, and a link to your website.

If your Facebook page doesn’t have these, contact me. I can help.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a great way to direct traffic to your website if you have something visual to share. Some studies are saying that Pinterest refers more traffic to blogs and websites than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined. Pinterest users are ready to buy when they click through to your website, since they are truly excited about what they’ve seen there. But there is a right and a wrong way to use Pinterest, so you might want to learn all about it before you start using it.

Pinterest is all about sharing pictures. Not pictures of your grandchildren or your latest vacation, but pictures that are beautiful or pictures that are helpful, or pictures that make you laugh, or make you think.

There are some things that should be true about a picture before you share it on Pinterest:

  • It should be a picture you have the right to share. That means I can’t share a photo if another photographer holds the copyright to it. It may mean I can’t share a picture containing a product or company logo — but then again, if I have a relationship with that company, they may want me to share it (such as, if I sell their products in my store).
  • It should be a picture or image that others will like to look at and want to share. Often that means an interesting or beautiful product, a great idea, a source for helpful information or a beautiful location.
  • You should credit the source if you are sharing a picture you got from someone else’s website. And likewise, you should expect others to credit you if they share your image. If you see your image being shared, politely contact the person who shared it and ask for a link or ask them to remove it if you really don’t want them to share it.
  • It should be an image that stands on its own. You can post a caption (in fact, you have to post a caption, even if it’s a blank space or a “.” But you can’t be sure someone will share the caption when they “re-pin” your image, so it’s good to have your website address in the image, and any explanatory headline as well. Use as few words as possible.

The best way to learn how Pinterest works is to jump in and play. Set up a personal account and follow some boards that correspond to your interests. You’ll get the hang of it soon. If you want to see some really beautiful pictures, check out my Pinterest boards.

Important To Remember about Social Media in General

If you want to participate in social media, you need to keep the following things in mind:

  • It’s not going to lead to a large increase in your audience or customer base overnight.
  • The best practice is to engage regularly with your customers on social media; it’s not like a website that you can set up and leave alone for weeks or months — you need to show up and participate, update and add content regularly.
  • You don’t have to use every social media site out there. Pick one or two that are best for your business, which might be different than someone else’s business. I can help you figure out a strategy if you don’t know where to start.
  • You can hire someone to do social media for you, but it’s better if you do it yourself or have someone who is part of your company or organization do it. You want to communicate using your unique voice and it’s best if someone intimately familiar with your business be the one who posts content. But I can give you some ideas of how to go about it.

Services and Pricing

It’s hard to list exact prices, because each Facebook page can be different, just like websites. But here are some prices to give you an idea of my fees. If you don’t see what you need, just ask for a quote using the form below. I can also make Twitter backgrounds and custom headers for sites such as YouTube.

Cover image for Facebook, Twitter or Google+: $25

Coordinating cover image and profile picture for either Facebook, Twitter or Google+: $35

Coordinating cover image and profile picture for all 3 (Facebook, Twitter and Google+): $75

Profile picture and 4 seasonal cover images: $50 for one, $75 for all three Facebook, Twitter and Google+

Complete redesign or brand new Facebook page: $100

Social media marketing consulting: $20-30 per hour

Set up a Pinterest account: $25 – $95 per board, depending on the number of images and whether they need editing

Pinterest consulting and tutorials: $20-30 per hour

Company Logo

A logo is sometimes the first impression a potential customer has of your business. It should fit your personality and be attractive to your target market. The colors used are also important, for two reasons:

  • Colors set a mood and convey a feeling or emotion.
  • Your logo will be the starting point for the color schemes used in any marketing products you use: your website, business cards, stationary, brochures, signs, business displays, etc.

It can be expensive to hire a professional graphic designer to design a logo for your company. Or you can hire me. I don’t have a lot of experience designing logos, but I enjoy it and my clients have been pleased with my work. And I’ll keep making changes till you have the logo you want, at no extra charge.

Infographics

Infographics are a visual way to display data, either to communicate a message or to persuade people to take a certain action. They are also popular as images to be used on Pinterest or shared via Social Media. I can make a graphic that attractively conveys your message and catches the eye of potential customers.

Services

Logo design: $100

Infographic(s): $20-30 per hour or ask for a price quote

All of your marketing products need to have a consistent look to them that fits your brand. It’s not rocket science, but there are some tricks to know that help make your printed marketing pieces look professional.

Are you wasting money on printed marketing materials?

Printing costs money. But many types of printed marketing materials are necessary, depending on the industry you’re in. If you pay a lot of money to have something printed, and then you don’t achieve the result you expected, you can feel like you wasted your money.

Steps to follow for using printed marketing products:

  1. Determine or decide on the purpose of the piece and the means by which you will put it in the hands of potential customers. Will you mail it or hand it in person? Is it for a specific event or campaign, or for general use?
  2. Decide on a quantity, based on the information you compiled in step 1, above.
  3. Decide if you can design it in-house, use design templates provided by the printer, or hire a graphic designer.
  4. Pick a printer and place an order. Some printers offer mailing services, which you might want to consider if you’re mailing the piece. If you are not sure which printer to pick, consider the following: your results on previous print jobs, price, shipping cost, specific services each printer offers, turn-around time, recommendations.

Services and Pricing

Your first stop when looking at getting something printed should be a printer. Many printers have websites that are very easy to use and give you lots of control over design while using their templates. Most of these also have an extensive form you can use to get an accurate price quote, after entering the size, quantity, your choice of paper stock, turn-around time and other options. The better forms will also ask for your zip code so they can estimate your shipping. Because of these features, you may well be able to design and order a printed piece all on your own, even if you don’t have any copywriting experience or graphic arts training. But if you need some help, consider hiring me. In addition to designing your document, I can also help you navigate the printer’s website.

Copywriting: $20-30 an hour, depending on frequency

Design help using online printer templates: $15 an hour

Design work using my own software, to be uploaded to printer website: $30 an hour plus the cost of images if needed

When the writer and designer are the same person, the entire product has a unified look. Many designers are not writers, and some writers have no sense of design.

Copywriting

Copywriting is often the one small businesses find most challenging. Business owners either don’t have the time or don’t have the talent to write content that will bring people to their website and keep them coming back.

I can give you some pointers when it comes to copywriting.

  • Speak directly to your target audience, using second person singular tense. That means you imagine you’re speaking to one single person who is part of your target market.
  • Don’t use jargon that your audience might not understand. This is not the place to impress them with your large vocabulary, but the time to communicate simply and clearly. Write as if you were talking to a customer in person.
  • If you are marketing a product or service, focus on a problem it will solve for your audience, or a need it will fill.

Does your business need a blog? What would you do with a blog if you had one?

These are some common questions small businesses ask when it comes to blogs. And the answer to the first one is: No, your business does not need a blog. It is not a requirement, especially now that we have Facebook and Twitter and so many other ways to communicate with people. But a blog can be a very useful tool you can use to build a community and market to your customers. Blogs are a special kind of website that are set up so that average users who have no web design ability or technical knowledge can log in and write something that can then be posted on the Internet where it will look professional, and not like someone let a 5-year-old loose with web design software.

Here are some things to consider when deciding whether you want a blog for your small business:

  • Do you have something to say, and a person on staff with enough time to write regular posts?
  • Do you have a plan for how to handle negative comments on your blog? (If not, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a blog. But it might mean you should turn comments off in the blog settings.)
  • Do you want to build a mailing list of names and email addresses you will communicate to on a regular basis? A blog is an excellent way to do that.
  • Do you want to build a community where members can interact with you and with each other? A blog is an excellent way to do that, too.
  • Do you have someone on staff who can write professional blog posts on a regular basis? If not, do you have a budget that allows for hiring a ghost blogger?

Services and Pricing

In the past few years I’ve set up many self-hosted WordPress blogs and assisted and consulted on others. I’ve written and edited posts for my own blogs and other blogs, and I’ve read many blogs so I have a good idea of what a blog should and can look like.

WordPress can be used to build a website for your business that you can easily edit yourself, whether or not you want a blog to be part of that. I can help you make a new WordPress site or add a blog to your existing site. And I can help you learn to use WordPress, or write posts for your blog.

Ghost blogging: $30 per post of approximately 300 – 450 words on a topic I am familiar with or for which you provide a list of relevant facts. Or $30 per hour for blogging that doesn’t fit these criteria ($20 per hour if you hire me to write for you on a regular basis).

Guest blog post on a topic related to one of my blogs: Free if you agree to write a guest post for one of my blogs as well and post a link back to my site. Topics I generally write about are Marketing, Design, Writing, Android and Graphic Arts/Digital Scrapbooking.

Setting up a WordPress blog: $200 for a simple WordPress blog (could be more, depending on features (this does not include writing posts)).

My fee for copywriting is an hourly fee, based on how long it takes me to write the copy. This applies both to web copy and copy for printed marketing products.

Copywriting: $20-30 per hour, depending on frequency.

Do you want to work with me?

Melissa_photo2sm

Fill out the form below to Contact me about working with you on any project, large or small, or to ask a question. I can’t wait to hear from you!

10 + 13 =