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Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger Friday, 17 August 2012


The SEO Game has Changed

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in July, 2012

The SEO Game has Changed

For the longest time, the big buzz word in search engine optimization (otherwise known as SEO) has been keywords. To optimize your site, you did keyword research, worried about keyword density (the number of times a keyword appears in the content), and hoped you had optimized for those keywords correctly so that Google would place you at the top of the search engine results. Recently, the SEO game changed.

Saying Hi Without Trying to Make a Sale

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in August, 2012

Saying Hi Without Trying to Make a Sale

Customer service isn’t just one of the things we focus on at Red Sage – it’s the only thing. A lot of places say they go above and beyond normal customer service, and many of them probably do.

In my time as a business development associate for Red Sage, I’ve had people thank me for simply answering my phone. And while that’s great, I want them to know they can depend on me for bigger things.  I want them to know that I am their partner rather than just another vendor.

Are You Using the Right Web Browser?

Written by Guest Blogger Drew McDowell Posted in August, 2012

Are You Using the Right Web Browser?

Quick, what internet browser are you using to read this blog post? And don’t tell me it’s Netscape! If you’ve never bothered to notice the icon you click every day to get to Facebook take heed. The internet is a colossal, wonderful, and potentially dangerous place, which is why it’s so important to ensure you’re using a modern web browser.

White Space is Your Friend

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in August, 2012

White Space is Your Friend

You’ve all seen the TV show Hoarders where people’s homes are overrun with newspapers, odds and ends, empty food containers, and some times dead animals collected over several years. The thought of it disgusts and shocks viewers. And sometimes inspires us to do some spring -cleaning.

Graphic designers often get a similar visceral reaction to a poorly designed, cluttered page.

A Smart SEO Start

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in September, 2012

A Smart SEO Start

"How do I show up on the first page of the Google search results?" This is one of the most common questions that I get asked and there is never an easy answer. It's like asking someone how to win at poker. While search engine optimization requires a certain level of skill, there will always be some luck of the draw, too. To minimize your reliance on luck and focus on skill, here are a few universal things to get you started off in the right direction.

The Importance of Networking

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in October, 2012

The Importance of Networking

As a Business Development Associate, networking is a huge part of my job. Oftentimes, the importance of networking is overlooked. However, I once had a great manager tell me “People do business with you because they like and trust you.” The question to follow up on that statement is “How do you get people to like and trust you?” The answer is get out there and let them get to know you.

Designing for the Right Audience

Written by Guest Blogger Drew McDowell Posted in October, 2012

Designing for the Right Audience

Know your audience. It’s the first thing they teach you in English comp 101, yet it’s the most important lesson I ever learned. Its value, not just in writing, but in any creative process, can’t be overstated. In order to educate, entertain, or entice your target market in the most effective way, you have to identify and relate to them.

The Importance of a Great Portrait

Written by Guest Blogger David Higginbotham Posted in October, 2012

The Importance of a Great Portrait

If you own a landscape company you will likely notice the weeds and wild monkey grass in front of my house. If you own an obedience school for pets you will probably be unable to ignore me as I chase the dog around my neighborhood. If you are an english teacher you might find it difficult to continue reading this article. So, being a photographer, I notice photos. As a business person you should know that the photos that you choose to represent you and your company are important.

Better Colors With This Primer

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in October, 2012

Better Colors With This Primer

So you’ve spent an hour at the home improvement store looking at hundreds of paint swatches. You pick the perfect color, buy a gallon of paint, and rush home for a few hours of DIY. Then just as you step back to appreciate your hard work, you realize that perfect golden hue you selected, once on your walls under natural sunlight, looks like a less-appealing dingy mustard.

Don't play hide and seek with search engines

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in November, 2012

Don't play hide and seek with search engines

Websites are not a "build it and they'll come" project. I've come to realize over the last few months that a lot of people are forgetting this very important fact. No matter how great the site is, it can't live up to its potential without a little more work afterwards. You would think that the idea of promoting your website would be a pretty obvious thought, but even the best of us tend to forget to do it when we get wrapped up in the day-to-day operations of our business.

At Red Sage, Passion Drives Engagement

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in November, 2012

At Red Sage, Passion Drives Engagement

Here at Red Sage, we look at business development in a different way. Well, actually, we like to think we look at everything in a different way, but that is beside the point. As a business development associate, I am very sensitive to the fact that while I am in “sales” I do not want to be viewed as just a salesperson or vendor. I prefer to be viewed as a partner.

The Science Behind Great Web Design - Part I

Written by Guest Blogger Drew McDowell Posted in December, 2012

The Science Behind Great Web Design - Part I

Your website provides potential customers with a first impression of your business. While you no doubt know how important first impressions are when meeting people, you may be surprised to learn, when it comes to your website, first impressions are made extremely quickly, are hugely influenced by design, and have far-reaching implications for your business.

#allbecauseofsocialmedia

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in December, 2012

#allbecauseofsocialmedia

You can ask anyone you meet about the value of social media, and unless they belong in one of those annoying GEICO commercials, they're going to have an opinion. There are the Negative Nellies who say it's a waste of time and money. The die-hard fans that can't go five minutes without saying "I need to Tweet this!" (Guilty as charged during our Christmas card stuffing extravaganza.) And those in between who believe they need to be more active on social media but don't really know where to start.

Managing Your Social Media Image as a Young Professional

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in 2013, February

Managing Your Social Media Image as a Young Professional

A couple weeks ago, I gave a presentation, “Managing Your Social Media Image as a Young Professional” at our local Chamber of Commerce to a leadership group composed of almost two dozen young professionals. This topic is so important – and so often overlooked – I’d like to share some of the insights from that presentation in this blog post. And while the title may say ‘young,’ the information certainly is not limited to those under 40.

Get a Response with a Responsive Website

Written by Guest Blogger Drew McDowell Posted in 2013, February

Get a Response with a Responsive Website

Unless you’re a web design nerd (like me) you probably have no idea what “responsive web design” means. However, you may notice that more and more of the sites you visit every day are embracing this technology. And it could be the key to getting your customers' attention. In a nutshell, responsive websites automatically and dynamically customize the look of each page based on the device you’re using to view it.

"Can you send that in an eps?"

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in 2013, February

"Can't you just use the logo on my website on the banner you're designing for me?"

I'm not calling out any specific customer. Over the past 20 years, I've heard this phrase or something similar more times than I'd dare count. And with so many different types of file formats a logo can be saved in, it's no wonder people are confused. And the answer is, we could use that graphic, but it would be blurry and pixilated and everyone would be bummed.

So, here is a run down of a few of the most common formats used and an explanation of what each is best suited for.

In Support of Unplugging

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in 2013, March

In Support of Unplugging

I recently had a conversation with a local media professional about personal use of social media – Facebook and Twitter in particular – when one also handles social media accounts for one or multiple companies. I mentioned that I do not have a personal Twitter account. To say she was shocked might be an understatement.

"Looks Great! Wait, I have to read it too?"

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in 2013, March

I clearly remember the first time I really noticed customers don’t really read proofs of projects I have worked on. I worked at a printing company in Birmingham and had designed a business card, sent the proof and approval form, and received word to move forward with production from the client. When the customer picked up the printed cards, he complained that his name was spelled wrong and should have been Stephen not Steven and asked how I could mistype it. I thought, “Dude, it’s your name, not mine — you approved the proof.”

Living an Unbalanced Life

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in 2013, April

Living an Unbalanced Life

One of the things that I am struggling with this year is finding a balance to my life. It feels as if everything from my personal life to my work life is off-kilter this year. Hopefully though, the following lessons I have been learning this year will help you find some more balance in your life.

Hit the Target

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in 2013, April

Hit the Target

Although I've been a graphic designer for 20 years, my first love was writing. I earned a degree from the University of Montevallo (PV!!) in mass communications. While there I took several art classes including design courses from Richard Dendy. Many of the students complained about how difficult and intense he was. I actually enjoyed the challenge and still appreciate the fundamentals he hammered into us.

Forward-Facing Interfaces – Treating Pixels as Pixels

Written by Guest Blogger Drew McDowell Posted in 2013, May

Forward-Facing Interfaces – Treating Pixels as Pixels

There’s a schism happening in the world of interface design. Seeing that we design interfaces every day, it’s important that we take note, if not take sides. The debate is over a design concept known as skeuomorphism, and while the discussion is, by definition, cosmetic, it gets to the very core of how we interact with the physical objects of the past and the digital objects of the future.

Getting from Paralysis to the Zone, I’m not the Only One (NOT a “How To” Post)

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in 2013, May

Getting from Paralysis to the Zone, I’m not the Only One (NOT a “How To” Post)

When the topic in our Monday morning staff meeting turned to whose turn it was to write a post, I cringed. I knew mine was coming up, and for once, I wasn’t very gung ho about it. Typically, I love writing a blog post. It’s completely different writing from the content development I do for our customers, and gives me a little creative freedom. I even used to have my own personal blog, “back in the day.” (Do people even say that anymore?)

The Basics

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in 2013, May

The Basics

Often times when I meet with new companies, I am asked “What do I need to get started?” This is kind of a broad question. However, I think that we have pretty well established a toolbox of “basics”. When planning and reviewing your upcoming marketing efforts there are a few things that need to be made a priority.

Know thy Audience

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in 2013, June

Know thy Audience

One of the first things that we ask all of our customers is, "Who is your audience?" This is an important question in marketing because it defines everything that you do and not knowing your exact audience can lead to a lot of lost time and money. The following are some of the ways that we help customers define their audience.

 

Less is Moore

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in 2013, June

Less is Moore

Less is more. That’s the lesson for the day. In advertising, it’s always the lesson, but never as much so as when it deals with billboards. Here are a few simple things to remember when working with your designer. Remember, the message on your billboard has only a few seconds to reach your target.

#TheHooplaAboutHashtags

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in 2013, July

#TheHooplaAboutHashtags

If you’re a Twitter user, then you’re no stranger to the hashtag (#). But until last month, if you hung out primarily in the wonderful world of Facebook, you probably don’t know what a hashtag is, why people would dream of using, or even HOW to use one. Though certain people have been erroneously using hashtags on Facebook for months (hi Dragon Lady!), most people have not.

When two heads (or seven) are better than one… the art of collaboration.

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in 2013, July

When  two heads (or seven) are better than one… the art of collaboration.

One of the first things that I tell my clients is that I am not the technical end of things…at all. However, I have a fabulous team of people supporting me that are that strong technically. Thank goodness for that because one thing that I know is that my strengths lie in my people skills and not my programming skills. Hence the reason that the lights are still on and the doors are still open here at Red Sage Communications world headquarters.

Why Say Why

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in September, 2013

Why Say Why

In a 2009 Tedx talk, Simon Sinek talked about the importance of "why" when it came to leadership and corporate stories. He said, "People don't buy what you do; people buy why you do it." He reasoned that companies, like Apple, that tell their stories by focusing on "why" rather than "what", "who", and "how", tend to be more successful than companies that talk only about the details. Why is why so important?

Time to Take a Step Back

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in October, 2013

Time to Take a Step Back

This has been a busy month for me here at Red Sage. With the year starting to wind down, I am now planning the marketing activities for 2014 for several of our customers. The customers and I are looking back over this year’s activities and figuring out what worked and what did not turn out as well as hoped. We’re brainstorming new ideas and seeking out new opportunities. Most importantly, we’re taking a moment to take a step back and look at their companies.

And Then They Tell Two Friends....The Importance of Testimonials and Referrals

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in October, 2013

And Then They Tell Two Friends....The Importance of Testimonials and Referrals

One of the first things I do when someone calls me to inquire about our services is ask, “How did you hear about us?” We like to keep track of whether it was our stellar marketing skills or our outstanding networking skills. Advice and tips on both of these skills can be found in prior blogs written by yours truly. Although, I am quite certain that you have already read and memorized all of my blogs. Ahem. I digress.

Marketing That Matters

Written by Guest Blogger Written by Guest Blogger Katie Woods Posted in November, 2013

Marketing That Matters

You’ve all seen the commercial: A busy suburban mom with a young child in the back seat suddenly experiences car trouble that leaves her stranded in an unfamiliar place. With her car insurance agent on speed dial, she and her child are soon rescued and returned safely home by a polite, smiling agent. While it is obvious they are selling car insurance, more importantly, they are also providing security and peace of mind.

*Required Form Design

Written by Guest Blogger Sarah Heidtman Posted in November, 2013

*Required Form Design

Done! Submit! Confirm! … so close, but why is nothing happening? All I see on the screen is a bright red box informing me about an error: “There was a problem with your submission.” After scanning through the online form I noticed that I not only forgot to confirm the crucial information of my email address, but I also have the joy of re-entering all the information I strenuously gathered and entered seconds before.

A Simple Look at SEO in 2013

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in December, 2013

A Simple Look at SEO in 2013

A lot has changed in the search engine optimization (SEO) world since I started working with Red Sage. It used to be that the one of the secrets to SEO success was keywords. What keywords you used, how often you used them, and where you used them could often affect where your site showed up in the search results.

First Impressions Are Lasting Impressions

Written by Guest Blogger Sarah Heidtman Posted in 2014, January

First Impressions Are Lasting Impressions

We all know that the first impression is alway the most important one. That is true for the dating life, the job search, or anywhere we come in contact with new groups and peers. The same is also true for a website. And how does a website create the important first impression? …

The Power of Pinterest for Small Business

Written by Guest Blogger Written by Guest Blogger Katie Woods Posted in 2014, March

The Power of Pinterest for Small Business

By now you’ve heard of Pinterest, even if you’re not quite sure what it is. Well, listen up! Pinterest is not only here to stay, it has become a top five social media site in less than five years of existence. More important than that, the value of Pinterest for small businesses is quickly and consistently outweighing results from others in that top five category (yes, you, Facebook).

Five Tips to Using Dropbox

Written by Guest Blogger Sarah Heidtman Posted in 2014, March

Five Tips to Using Dropbox

Vacations are usually pretty exciting, but if you end up being stuck at your parent’s house in a different country your daily routine can get messed up quickly. Not to speak of your day time job. Fortunately, I am very lucky to work at an amazing company that understood my dilemma and tried everything to put me to work thousands of miles away and seven hours ahead of time.

 

The Power of Exploding Toilets and Golden Content

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in 2014, April

The Power of Exploding Toilets and Golden Content

Every day, my inbox fills up with several e-newsletters, Google alerts, monitors, and blogs. While most people would call this "spam" or "useless trash", this daily influx of emails is a treasure trove of golden content for me. I am a content curator, or in laymen's terms, I collect and share content from others. While it takes a little time commitment, there are two really good reasons why I do it and why you should too:

Networking for Extroverts

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in 2014, April

Networking for Extroverts

So recently, I gave you some tips on networking for introverts. This time around, I would like to give you some tips on networking for extroverts. An extrovert, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is a friendly person who likes being with and talking to other people: an outgoing person.

“All good things must come to an end.”

Written by Guest Blogger Sarah Heidtman Posted in 2014, May

“All good things must come to an end.”

So true! When I first came to Red Sage I did not know what I was getting into. Fresh out of school and naïve to the world, I came tumbling into the doors of Red Sage. My courage and fearlessness prevented me from running back out the door, or maybe it was just the exhaustion from coming up those daunting stairs. They soon put me to work and I must say I learned a lot.

"I Can't Believe They Said That!" 7 Steps to Responding to Negative Comments

Written by Guest Blogger Written by Guest Blogger Katie Woods Posted in 2014, July

Fear of negative comments or reviews often gives our clients cause to pause when considering whether or not to start a blog or participate in social media. Here’s the thing: If people are extremely pleased or displeased with your product or service, it is likely that there is already internet chatter brewing… You just aren’t aware of it.

That logo could look so much better

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in 2014, August

That logo could look so much better

Here’s the scene: The new intern tasked to produce the company newsletter feels it needs a bit of holiday cheer. He chose a great photo and didn’t get too crazy with the fonts. But then he looked at the company logo. It looked stuffy and unfriendly to him. With the best of intentions he switched the logo’s teal to a holiday green and replaced the “o” in the company name with a clip art wreath.

There is no "I" in Team

Written by Guest Blogger (Also, Where Amanda uses Red Sage as a Model to Explain Football to Dragon Lady) Posted in 2014, August

There is no

I come from a college football town. (OK, I really come from a town where every single boy in my class had to play football to have a team, but I lived in, and went to college in, a college football town.) Badger fans take their football seriously – or so I thought until I moved to the South.

Go Big or Go Home

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in October, 2014

Go Big or Go Home

For years, the general rule for designing a website was to use a not-too-tall image, followed by a headline and text whose sole purpose was to attract the attention of a suitor named Google.

It was often frustrating for me because I’d have access to a stunning photograph deserving of a large footprint in the design. Coming from a print design background, I loved using large, striking photography. But a rule also borrowed from the print design world was to keep important text close to the top of a web design or “above the fold.” This phrase harks back to the days when newspapers were king, and top stories went above the folded crease.

Finding Inspiration When Feeling Uninspired

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in November, 2014

Finding Inspiration When Feeling Uninspired

Let’s face it, we all have those days when we wake up in the morning and we feel like we are trudging through a barren desert void of good ideas. We try as hard as we can to find that one oasis in the desert, chock full of great ideas. Yet, sometimes it’s best to relax and let those ideas come to you. Brace yourselves: I'm about to share with you my patent pending (not really) guide to finding inspiration.

5 Steps to Getting Your Small Business Ready for the Holidays

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in November, 2014

5 Steps to Getting Your Small Business Ready for the Holidays

The holidays are fast approaching and, if you’re like many small business owners, your business depends on having a healthy 4th quarter. In a perfect world, you would already have your social media campaign strategy on paper and be implementing it; but if you haven’t started, it’s not too late to get your small business ready for the holidays. And then, bookmark this page for next year.

Commercials I Love This Christmas

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in December, 2014

Commercials I Love This Christmas

Advertisers are pulling out the stops with new commercials hoping to divide consumers from their hard-earned dollar. As a designer I pay attention to advertisements and commercials for the new hot toy or gadget. Most people I know fast forward past commercials on their DVRs, but I actually enjoy watching them. Here are three of my favorites this season.

How to Use 1 Blog Post 8 Ways?

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in 2015, January

How to Use 1 Blog Post 8 Ways?

A blog post is just like a Swiss Army knife. It may look ordinary at first glance, but a tug in a few areas and out will pop a wide assortment of content that you had no idea existed. A real time-saving, inspiring social media tool kit of posts, tweets, infographics, and so much more can be tucked into a few paragraphs of a single blog post.

How Web Designs Can Help You Win the Game of Thrones

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in 2015, February

How Web Designs Can Help You Win the Game of Thrones

Everyone at Red Sage knows I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan, so it is no surprise that this blog is Game of Thrones themed. If you have no idea what Game of Thrones is, I highly recommend you watch it. It is one gripping show! It's got a little bit for everyone: dragons, betrayal, drama, magic, zombies, swords, fighting, explosions, secrecy, Sean Bean,Peter Dinklage, and shocking twists!

Mighty Morphin Powerful Logos and their Hidden Symbolism

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in 2015, April

Mighty Morphin Powerful Logos and their Hidden Symbolism

I’m sure you’re wondering why this blog post has anything to do with a 90’s childhood delight. Well, if you’ve ever watched the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, the story is pretty simple. A group of kids are secret super hero ninjas that ‘Morph’ right before your very eyes to kick the booties of the evil minions of Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd (yes, I am a huge nerd and I’m super proud of it).

All Aboard: Getting New Brand Buy-In

Written by Guest Blogger Written by Guest Blogger Katie Woods Posted in 2015, May

All Aboard: Getting New Brand Buy-In

Mark’s recent blog post, Branding Leads to Top-of-Mind Awareness, reminded us that a company’s logo and slogan carry a lot of weight to customers. He visited several long-time successful brands that stay memorable and relevant. Companies like these teach us that branding should not be taken lightly.

Cooking up Corporate Campaigns

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in 2015, May

Cooking up Corporate Campaigns

Today we’re going to take a peek into the world of corporate campaigns. These huge projects are carefully planned, cooked, and served with the utmost care. So how do we cook up these campaigns? Is there a secret ingredient in creating them? Let me try to give you an idea with the following recipe:

Illustrations are Stealing the Show!

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in 2015, July

Illustrations are Stealing the Show!

Although stock image sites provide high-quality images and vectors that are an excellent resource, there is something significant, raw, and beautiful when it comes to custom digital illustrations and digital paintings. In my opinion, it makes you linger. If there is one thing that is going to make you stand out that no one else will have, it is a custom illustration.

Top Five Fierce Instagram Brands

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in 2015, September

Top Five Fierce Instagram Brands

Let’s face it, you either use Instagram religiously or know someone that does. Personally, I love Instagram - from the beautiful variety of filters to its video clip features, Instagram is a great way to connect visually. The interesting thing about Instagram is it is a very powerful tool for businesses. I not only follow my friends and family, but I also follow my favorite brands.

Give a Moment to Giving Tuesday

Written by Guest Blogger Written by Guest Blogger Katie Woods Posted in 2015

Give a Moment to Giving Tuesday

On the heels of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday comes Giving Tuesday. For the fourth year, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving Day has been dedicated to kicking off the most giving season of the year. Giving Tuesday celebrates giving and supports businesses and non-profits across the globe. 

Print vs. Online: Where to Spend Your Advertising Dollars

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in 2016, March

Print vs. Online: Where to Spend Your Advertising Dollars

Most of our marketing customers come to us with very specific budgets they have allocated for advertising. Often, this leads to us making recommendations of how to allocate their dollars in the most effective way. And one of the questions we often get is, “Does traditional marketing still work, or should I be putting all of my money into online advertising?”

4 Ways Social Media is Changing Video Marketing

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in 2016, June

4 Ways Social Media is Changing Video Marketing

Video marketing is a hot topic right now – and for good reason. Video marketing has been steadily increasing for the last couple years but in 2015, it officially took off. Social media platforms give preference to video posts and video marketing has become the next best thing.- BUT social media videos play by different rules than traditional video outlets, and here’s how!

Color: Psychology + Cultural Meaning

Written by Guest Blogger Posted in 2016

Color: Psychology + Cultural Meaning

Ever wonder why most spas choose blue for their interiors? Have you ever felt anxious in a room with yellow walls? Have you noticed how most restaurants use reds in their logos and branding? Coincidence? Think again! These colors have been meticulously chosen based on their studied, psychological influence. Ever heard of Chromotherapy?

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