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CONNECTION GROUP

Success in business starts with connections

Connection Graphics Announces Membership

Greater Lansing Business Monthly

Connection Graphics, LLC announced membership with the Graphic Communications Conference of the Brotherhood of Teamsters. Connection Graphics, LLC is united in support of fair wage and labor practices worldwide. As the only local union web site design firm, they are working with associations and unions in mid-Michigan building and updating Web sites and union communication and print materials.

Greater Lansing Business Monthly www.lansingbusinessmonthly.com – May 2008

Web site design, marketing, blogs . . . what next?

Someday these blog entries will be a regular habit! Then I may add more than anybody cares to read. For now I am lucky to get in an entry a month! I decided to share this entry I offered in another industry blog. Hopefully you will find some value in the info.

Our time at CG is dedicated primarily to designing marketing materials for various clients, service companies, retail, wholesale, etc. Frequently we find our time is spent being advisors to our clients and friends for “all things internet”. We can’t answer “all things internet” but I do have answers to some of the web marketing questions many people have.

Ecommerce and any marketing is just like running a business – you have to balance the cost, value, time and appropriateness to your message for your service or product. For instance this blog, currently I don’t add to it daily. I knew I wouldn’t when I launched it. I also know I am a person who needs to have deadlines and consistency. So, for keeping in touch with my clients and sharing information I think they will find useful, and possibly even entertaining, I committed to a monthly e-newsletter. Being a small shop I know we can’t do it all, so I focus on what I am most comfortable with and what my staff is best at – plus what meets our target audience best.

What I stress to my customers after the nuts and bolts of content, price and value is, fit. A blog component for some businesses may work best with a more organic approach. If it feels more authentic to just post and promote the blog through current connections rather than blasting other blogs to link to and from, I say do what fits your style for your service or product. It needs to feel right, not forced. If you really want to market that blog, get out there and do it all.

I have also put together a list of questions and outlined some advise for those who are not familiar with hiring web design too. Please check back on the tips page for “What to Ask a Web Designer” in the near future. Because there is so much confusion to pricing, what content is important, who is doing what, etc. there is a lot of fear and confusion out there hiring a Web site designer.

One last thing…watch for choosing Web site designers based on price alone. Heed the warning, you often get what you pay for and some times three months late! Even those of us in the industry who know what to ask for with programming or production have been burned. Do yourself a favor and work with someone you can speak to on the phone prior to hiring them and be sure to check out samples on their own Web sites. If they don’t have published samples (real clients) OR their own site. or their site is functioning poorly – be wary.

Free food for Shelter Dogs and Cats Animal Rescue Site

Animal lovers, this is pretty simple… Please tell ten friends to tell ten today! The Animal Rescue Site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of getting free fooddonated every day to abused and neglected animals. It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on the purple box “fund food for animals” for free. This doesn’t cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donatefood to abandoned/neglected animals in exchange for advertising. Here’s the web site! Pass it along to people you know.http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com

Happy New Year! 2008

This time of year is always so inspiring for me. I relish it as a completion and as a catalyst for what the future can be. 2007 was a year of planning and building, clearing vision and space. Some of you may recall the old school building maintenance was draining on so many levels! The results are gratifying and once again comfort and creativity flow.

 

More time was well spent in research and expanding Connection Graphic’s reach to new markets. I have met and worked with some very dynamic and passionate people this year and I plan to keep them in my travels. I am also pleased about the development of our new website. The updated format allows us to connect virtually through this blog, the Connectivity newsletter, our downloads and new designs. The plan is, Connectivity will be a monthly greeting in your email box and also archived. I plan for it to be a fun and informative read. We’ll share “many things design” usually reserved for client consultations and project development. Be sure to sign up for it!

 

FYI, a schedule for these blog entries is not on the horizon! Check in for words of wisdom, resources, web, marketing, design tips and an occasional funny or call to action though. I will be expending most of my extra energy designing the graphics for our free download products. Design is the passion after all. I am loving combining wisdom, quotes, and affirmations with my original illustrations and photos of people, places, things, and nature I have collected along the way. I hope these designs make a connection with you and encourage connections with others. Share the love, choose peace.

 

Over the holiday I donated a couple of ecards designs for a wonderful cause dedicated to expanding love across the world. Learn more by visiting TheGlobalHeart.org, part of the awesome Debbie Ford Integrative Coaching community. You can choose to sign up or not, scroll to Resources Images and find my Love ecards.

 

Stay connected,

Connie

2007 Year End

Have you had a chance to take a look at the website overhaul?

I can’t tell you what a relief and a reward this change has been! So many ideas I have been building on are finally in place and the new client samples have increased interest in our print and web design services. Many kudos to webmaster Kalyn for her patience, knowledge and resourcefulness. Also, honoring my true nature, Connection Group is now offering wind powered website hosting! We’re always looking for more ways to support the environment and practice green living and working. I’ll add more resources to the blog and newsletter as more are known.

As to further connections, did you know Connection Group is a member of the Graphic Communications Conference of the Brotherhood of Teamsters? We are united in support of fair wage and labor practices worldwide. We are also reaching out to association and union shops as targets for our services. Why? We pledge to get rid of the many ugly and poorly functioning member websites that currently proliferate the web. Whoops, did I just fall into my snobby designer dialect? Seriously, Connection Group is desperately needed to design fully functioning member based websites for these groups! Organization members surf professionally designed websites everyday – and when they visit their own union’s website they can’t find the information they need! Any of you association or union members who are confused or horrified upon entering into your company, local, or national union and association website, contact us. We’ll create a a custom site that can be updated in house and look and function professionally. We can also tackle your print publications and community outreach communications to update to your website and create a complete professional brand package.

Another element of the site design is the ease in adding to our links listing. We’re fortunate to work with many companies who share the same core values Connection Group is built on. Because of this, people often ask me who I know who can help with a service or product they are seeking. To help bring the connections together we have posted client case studies on some of our favorites and have added references throughout the site. We will continue to brainstorm ways to share friends, client, and vendor information. If you need any services from people we feature, check them out or contact us for more information, you will be pleased with the connections. Full circle. Love it.

Stay connected,

Connie

…Free Ecards and desktop patterns!

Welcome to our designers blog! For those of you who have been to our site before you will see a lot of new fun stuff. I am so excited about creating the new desktop patterns and ecards. And we’re sharing them with everyone… For free!

Really – free ecard greetings. No, I’m not going to slam you with tons of email offers begging you to buy stuff. No voodoo if you don’t send it to five people within five minutes. No selling your email to a list serve. Really-free.

So help me out. Think of someone you care about. Look through the ecard categories and choose one you know will make a connection or bring a smile to that person. On your journey be sure to connect with the messages and art that speaks to you too. Check out the desktop patterns link and see if we have the card design you like in a desktop pattern form. Totally free desktop patterns too – promise! We will continue to add Seasonal Greeting ecards, Christmas ecards, New Years ecards, and increase the variety available.

I have been having so much fun making these, I have 10 or so desktop patterns cycle through on my own laptop. Amazing how sometimes the message or affirmation I need at that moment just pops on screen. I’m diggin it.

Let us know which ones you like best or if there are particular designs or categories you would like to see. Keep coming back as we add more! Sign up for the newsletter and we will let you know when new sets are posted too.

Enjoy, enjoy.

I’ll hit on the rest of the site overhaul in the next few entries. Pieces, parts are still in progress..bare with us and check back as we add more.

Click along and stay connected.