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Creative Ways to Get Your Business Noticed

In the ever expanding world of business, it seems increasingly difficult to get your brand noticed. There are so many other companies out there that are offering similar services or products to yours, so you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd and be the first choice for consumers. Today, we’ll give you some great ideas for getting noticed in the crowd.

Get Online

It may seem like an obvious one, but it really is essential. Over 3 billion people are using the internet, and its reach is limitless, so getting online is vital to the success of a business. Not only should you make sure that you have your own website, but you should get onto social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter too. There are over 1 billion active Facebook users, so your reach will go that much further, allowing customers to ‘like’ and share your page with their friends and family. If you’re not confident when using social media, you can take training courses with companies such as Social Media Training UK.

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Think Outside the Box

Adverts are one of the most effective ways to market your business and get noticed, but to stand out, you’re going to have to get creative. You may be able to think of a couple of adverts that spring to mind, and the chances are that these are particularly unique ads. One example is from the security firm 3M, who chose to prove that their glass was shatterproof by placing a glass box full of money on the street with the offer that, if anyone could break it with their feet, they could keep the money. The fact that nobody was successful backed up their claim, and gave them some great publicity.

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Go Viral

Every second, over 95,000 YouTube videos are watched, and many businesses are taking full advantage of this. If you can create a video that goes viral, you are able to reach a huge pool of consumers that may have never heard of you. In 2013, Dove was awarded with the best viral video of the year with their ad ‘Real Beauty Sketches’. The video now has over 65 million views and has clearly reached a huge audience. Although there is no recipe to create a viral video, a Guardian article has attempted to pinpoint some of the secrets to give your advert a fighting chance.

Create Shareable Content

If you’ve been on Facebook recently, you may have noticed that half of your newsfeed is taken up by people sharing articles, quizzes and other web pages. This is a fantastic way of getting your brand name out there if you can do it well. One of the easiest ways of doing this is by creating a blog on your website. Not only will it make your business more personable, but if you can create some really great content that is shared, it can draw more customers in too. BuzzFeed is possibly the most shared website so, for inspiration, read up on a few tips from the editorial director here.

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Don’t Forget the Importance of Paper

In this, the digital age, it can be easy to forget that paper provides useful and relevant advertising opportunities. Although ads on the internet and an online presence are essential for success, they can be easily forgotten when the consumer steps away from their computer. By providing physical forms of advertising, you have something that a potential customer can hold in their hand and engage with. Get packs printed by Folder Print to provide clients with information about your business in a format that they can keep coming back to.

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Hopefully, by putting these creative tips into action, you will find that you have more exposure, and a growing customer base. Obviously, there is no right way to market your brand, but if you get a little bit creative and use your imagination, you should see some great results!

So You Want to Make a Movie: Everything You Need to Become an Indie Filmmaker

Ok, so you’ve got your script – the one you spent months working on, rewriting, editing, cutting down and refining while going through instant coffee and packets of Marlboro like they were going out of fashion. And you’ve got your cast assembled – sure, they might not be perfect actors, but they’re cheap and they’re willing and they believe in your vision. And you know precisely where you’re going to shoot your film, since you’ve set it in one room in your mate’s massive house. So now what?

Camera

Well, if you’re very actually dedicated to making your movie, the first thing you’ll want to get hold of is a decent camera. Sure, if you’re feeling particularly brave or don’t mind a bit of shoddy handheld, then by all means grab your phone. But if you’re seriously serious, a camera is crucial. There are plenty on the market. The main thing is you want it to be digital – that might sound obvious, given we’re living in the 21st century, but cameras which capture on film are still pretty popular. The only real issue is that it costs an absolute bomb to buy up the film. DSLR are the popular choice, but certainly the only option out there. Also, make sure you have plenty of storage space too. You don’t want to film for 10 minutes and find out you’ve used up all the memory! One of the best cameras out there, in terms of both price and image quality, is the Panasonic HC-V750K.

 

Of course, you don’t have to shell out for a Red One – or anything anywhere near as expensive. Heading over to eBay is a sound idea, since many decent cameras are pretty durable. And if you’ve got the gift of the gab – and you will have, because it’s an important aspect of becoming a filmmaker – you could always try to borrow one from your local university, or hiring one on a temporary basis. Best of all, these will usually come with tripods too – because handheld motion sickness is so Blair Witch.

 

Lighting

Taking care over the lighting of your film is another key facet. After all, you don’t want it looking like you shot it in a windowless basement at 4 in the morning, right? Even with all the lights switched on in the house, the film will still look a bit, well, amateur hour. So get your hands on a decent lighting rig. Or a semi-decent one, at least. This doesn’t mean you have to remortgage your parents’ house. You can easily pick up a high-powered light and stand from a hardware depot. Failing that, a guerrilla filmmaking rig can be made from lamps from around the home, attached to a portable stand. Don’t believe us? Check this out

 

Sound

Sound is something which can really elevate a film from great to awesome – or conversely, take an awesome film and make it awful. No-one wants to sit through 90 minutes of crackles and buzzing and barely audible dialogue. After all, you’ve spent all that time writing and filming the script, so it’d be nice to actually hear what your actors are saying. Invest in a boom mic and high-quality microphones that can capture everything that’s said. After all, your story isn’t just told through visuals, but the audio as well. If you really want the best results, consider hiring a studio to dub the lines your equipment failed to pick up. Companies like L and F Music and Scotland’s Rage Music specialise in audio production and it can make the difference between a standing ovation and standing up and walking out of your picture.

 

Editing

Phew! That’s it, right? Well… not quite. You’ll want to get hold of editing software now. But which one? There are tons of free software out there, like VSDC, as well as more professional ones like Adobe available to purchase. And after all that, you just have one choice left – where to release it. Maybe you’ll submit it to a film festival. Perhaps you’ll get it up on Youtube. Wherever you put it, good luck!

5 Creative CVs That’ll Get You Inspired

An employer will spend just 6 seconds looking over your CV, and will have already made a decision after 5 seconds. When you apply for a job, you’ll want to draw attention, communicate the right message and intrigue an employer enough to invite you to an interview.

It’s important to find a way to make your CV stand out amongst the pile, so when it comes to design – it needs to be creative, imaginative and modern.

Although a design-focused CV may not work with a law or business industry position, it’s a perfect way for designers and artists to self-promote via print design. So, here are a few of the most innovative CV designs that are sure to bag you that design job of your dreams!

Personal Stationery by Alysa Choudri

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A colourful, textural and beautifully creative CV which successfully communicates the artist’s ideas, creativity and design ethic throughout. The text and imagery styles are neat and easy-to-read, with added artwork colour palettes to promote a clear, forward-thinking and coherent design from back to front. A perfect example of ‘less is more’.

Infographic Resume by Zhi Liang

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A minimalist CV which demonstrates skills, passions and design styles in a clear and modern manner. The slight use of colour is effective and promotes a strong and confident design ethic. The bold use of negative space creates drama and draws the eye straight to the important information displayed in image format. A great example of simplistic and contemporary design style!

Curriculum Vitae by Zi-Huai Shen

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Inspired by ‘the suit’, this inventive CV captures the classic and tailored fit of the gentleman’s suit, whilst focusing on layering, strict lines and the use of subtle colour in its appearance. On first aesthetics, the ‘parcel’ style encourages viewer to open to find a fold-out leaflet design displaying a complementary colour palette, easy-to-read information and clear design style. A great example of innovative and unusual leaflet formatting!

CV & Job Application by Vidar Olufsen

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After being informed his application would be ‘kept on file’, the artist quickly drew inspiration from this statement and used the concept to create a physical CV and application portfolio. The humorous detailing of a ‘top secret’ report includes all details and elements that would definitely draw the attention on an employer and encourage them to open and discover all details! This is a very clever and creative idea for a CV, with a solid theme and design style throughout.

Self Promotion by Colm O’Connor

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One of the most unique and forward-thinking CV designs, ever! Everyone loves parcels, right? So why not incorporate that with a creative CV and job application concept. The exterior appearance is a classic courier design, however, on opening its colourful, typography-focused aesthetic is revealed throughout. A fun, quirky and innovative idea in order to engage an employer with a candidate and their ideas!

If you’re currently on the job hunt for that dream job, or just fancy giving your design CV a little creative makeover – our only advice is make it unique! Your CV is the first impression a future employer will have of you, so make sure it’s a good one, and one that’ll bag you an interview!

Attract Attention to Your Exhibition Stand

Having a stand at an exhibition, conference or trade show is a great way to grow your business and build a customer database, making sure that your exhibition space attracts plenty of interest and attention from the most suitable visitors.

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A trade show is the best possible way to promote your company to a wide market in a short space of time, even though you are against a high number of other competitors.

Creating the most successful exhibition stand may sound like a daunting challenge, but don’t worry! Here are some top tips to pull in the punters and attract the interest your company deserves.

Make it Visual

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Think of your stand as a portable shop window – you want it to say ‘come in and have a look!’ to visitors and be a welcoming space to enter without feeling intimidated. Choose visuals such as posters and products in order to boost the image you want to communicate. Your objective to sell should be noticeable, but not in a pushy or dominating manner. Employ a company to design and build your exhibition space specifically to suit your objectives. Companies such as Apex create and deliver custom built exhibition stands to promote your business, whatever your budget.

Be Creative

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The most attractive stands are often the ones which having something a little different about them. Be creative with lighting, sounds, screens or signage to grab attention and keep it. Follow visitors around your exhibition space to see what they see, and make sure there is no visual overload or too much text to read. Check out these creative exhibition stands for design inspiration!

Keep It Simple But Effective

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Remember, small is beautiful too. Exhibiting is all about having great ambitions and a product that people want, not having a huge and extravagant budget! Planning a space that suits your brand can be a little challenging, and it is often presumed that the larger the stand, the more attention you will attract. This isn’t always the case; if your objectives and business values are present, a small stand may be just what you need!

Use Colour… Well

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Colour, if used well, can be one of the most successful marketing strategies available to any business. Colour can quickly create a relationship between brand logo and human emotion, giving a person an instant connection to a product. The connection between that of colour and psychology is an extremely interesting theory, and if understood can provide your company with a successful, recognisable and highly respected brand and business rapport. Check out this article on the psychology of colour in marketing, and make sure you brand your company with the colour of success!

Practice Makes Perfect

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Before the exhibition day, set up your space in the workplace or an accessible location and explore how it feels and how it looks to passersby. Having a dress-rehearsal is a great way of eliminating any unnecessary elements, and helps you to focus more on what works rather than what doesn’t. It’s also a great way to gain some time during set-up and enables you to know exactly how to assemble on the day!

Get the Right Staff

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Pick your team members with both event and customers in mind. Many exhibitors use the ‘hook’ candidate (someone who attracts people to the stand), or the ‘spotter’ (who approaches people and brings them to the stand) – but if you have neither, do not worry! You can hire promotional staff who are perfectly selected to suit you and business values; companies like Breeze People audition and hand-pick the ideal staff team to suit your event!

Have a Secret Weapon

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Secret weapons can be anything, but make sure they are something that is going to attract attention, and even provide a customer with something they need or want. Preferably for free! Promotional gifts are ideal for exhibition freebies or to distribute throughout the trade show to encourage people to come and find your stand. The key to promotional gifts, though, is to create something fresh and something completely different to a competitor – often the most unique promotional gifts work the best. Companies like EMC Advertising Gifts offer fun alternatives to the traditional promotional product, and will provide you with something that visitors will want to keep!

In order to be brand-successful at exhibitions and conferences, just keep the above tips in mind and give yourself plenty of time to make arrangements, organise and make any last minute changes that may crop up. Time is key to any successful company! Don’t forget to promote and let people know which exhibitions you are appearing at and what dates to put in their diary! Here’s a helpful trade show planning guide to help you along the way. Good luck!

How To Start Your Own Fashion Label

Whether you are a Fashion graduate, or have a passion for the industry, starting your own clothing line is often the pipe dream of many designers and those with an interest in fashion. While you may not ever be the next Viv Westwood or McQueen, you can still create good designs with great determination and a fantastic marketing strategy.

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Many young designers often rush into setting up a business due to the perceived glamour and success of the fashion industry, ignoring the ups, downs and failed companies that we tend to hear far less about amongst the success stories. However, a business depends on the founder’s determination and aims, so if you are hard working and want to give your company the start it deserves, here are some great tips and advice to starting your own fashion business.

Do your research

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Before you even start planning and designing, learn as much as you possibly can about the industry you are entering and fill your head with knowledge. Take the time to learn, expand skills and be sure of your abilities. By doing research, including watching interviews, attending classes, reading articles and taking the time to talk to fellow practitioners; you will gather a much stronger insight into what the industry expects and what is required to succeed. It may seem boring, but it is essential for success!

Check out HTSACC for articles, advice and top tips regarding start-up cost and licensing information specific to the fashion industry.

Be unique

Jumpers

There are plenty of UK based companies that started small-scale and progressively grew to worldwide distribution. In order to be set for success, your clothes will have to offer something a little different from the competition. Think outside the box, and use proven-popular ideas in modern concepts to encourage customers to purchase your designs rather than those of existing brands. Avoid making the same things as everybody else, give the market something new! For inspiration visit lookbook.nu – a great source for everyday people and everyday style!

Source and secure

Piggy Bank

In order to start to build up your business, you’ll need the money in order to produce it. “Indie” clothing lines are companies that aim to produce high-quality products and plan to extend in the future, once the brand has grown. There has been a particular boom in “indie” companies recently and it is estimated that brands of this type require a minimum of £300 to get going, and if you want in-house production – costs can increase to £5,000+ to get started.

There are plenty of ways to get started, and a lot of companies that will help you secure the funds if you haven’t saved up enough. Here is a great article from The Guardian with ideas on gaining alternative funding outside of bank loans. Another possibility is implementing pre-orders to get money from customers before the clothes are produced.

Plan the manufacture

Industrial Sewing Machine

Making your own clothes by hand is a great cost-effective way to get started, however, as the brand starts to grow – you will need to produce higher numbers on shorter timescales. Plenty of good sewing machine companies offer fantastic business start-up deals, including a wide range of industrial sewing machines that are affordable and the ideal option for first-time company starters.

If you choose to source your manufacturers out of house, be sure to approach professionals with a clear business plan. Potential partners are far more likely to be confident in your entrepreneurial ventures if they can see a clear growth strategy and an organised and dedicated individual behind it.

Learn how to market

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As with any business, knowing how to market your product is critical for success. Firstly, create a good, strong and easy-to-purchase-from website. A clear website will allow customers to shop and online presence is one of the most productive forms of advertising for new businesses. Other ways to spread business by cost-effective methods include word of mouth – if your customers are happy, they are far more likely to return and tell their friends.

Social media is a fantastic way to reach a large audience without spending much money! Visit popular social sites including Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and Youtube which offer huge audience communication and engagement worldwide.

Fantastic ways of reaching large audiences through simple and cost-effective marketing include traditional methods such as leaflet and poster advertisement concepts. For a fashion company, you will need to create a ‘buzz’ around your brand before you release your first line – so make sure you target your audience well in advance and get them excited to view your new range! This can be achieved through offering launch-day promotion codes and bargain deals, enticing future custom and giving the customer something back for logging in and purchasing on the first day of fashion-business. Promotional advertisement companies such as Direct Letterbox Marketing can create quality leaflet and promotional design advertisements in order to get your brand out there and start making a name for yourself in the creative industry!

Listen to your customers!

Customers

Market research is the key to any business. Your designs may be beautiful, but if they are too expensive to purchase or too difficult to wear, they simply will not sell. Listen to customer feedback; don’t be afraid to remake old styles if customers are asking for it, or kill a best-seller if it seems like the right thing to do. Your design and fashion aesthetic may change numerous times, but it is important to make a conscious effort to make changes that affect your market in a positive way. For the basics on market research, visit this great post to get started.

Stick at it!

Don't Give Up

Like anything, a clothing line takes a lot of hard work and dedication to succeed, alongside a few sleepless nights and stressful times. But don’t give up! You are sure to meet challenges along the way, but if you believe in your brand and yourself – you’ll succeed! Good Luck!