Tag: Social Media Week Glasgow

28
Sep

Professional Service Websites – 7 Tips

Where to start when building that website for your firm can be a bit daunting. We thought, we’d take a moment out of our day and see if we can help? 

These are 7 tips to help those who are considering how to build their next professional services website or those who simply want to refresh what they currently have.

1. START WITH CONTENT

Many traditional website designers used to create layouts, structures and then create content to fit. We suggest the opposite – create the content first- and create a responsive structure to suit. The reason being is that content list can be a bit daunting and sometimes it is difficult to know where to start? The list may include – staff bios, service benefits, specific methodologies, images, news items, etc. It may include information on culture, values, vision, etc. Get all the information down in one place – post-it notes, scrap sheets of paper, etc. Anywhere, you can look over it all in one go.

Then work out what’s important? Prioritise which bits of content you want to emphasise? These are the bits where you use professional photography, copywriting or even video. By starting with content, you build a more user-friendly site and are more in control of the areas of your company that draw the most attention. Another really great tip is to use leverage and use the images, videos or articles (content) to share on Social Media channels such as LinkedIn, YouTube or Twitter – obviously a critical part of your digital presence.

2. PEOPLE, PEOPLE, PEOPLE

Professional services are all about people and relationships – your website should be big on this. Bring your people to life online, this usually means – great images of your staff, personal stories, anecdotes, anything that builds the human story. Some like technical but most don’t so keep specialist information in a separate place to more general information.

The simple act of creating a simple clean layout with just the right amount of information that a client needs to know is an effective way to build a good professional site.

3. TESTIMONIAL SHEET

Not just a website one, but definitely one that will enhance any Business Development activities – the client testimonial sheet. Many professional firms are wary about publishing testimonials, especially on their website, in fear of having their clients poached. We believe that showing others that you do a good job is more than worth the risk.

The most significant improvement to our sales process has been the introduction of a ‘client and testimonial sheet.’ More testimonials gives you greater credibility. You cannot have too many of these. Have them on your website but also a simple doc or PDF file to E-Mail to show new people that you are trying to do business with can be helpful.

We don’t believe you can really have enough testimonials.

4. BESPOKE REQUIREMENTS

Most organisations will have services that are similar if not completely identical to their competitors. Whether it is advising on selling a business, providing an insurance specification or creating a will – we nearly all do the same things on paper. However, ‘it’s not what you do but the way that you do it.’ Being able to talk authentically about the differences demonstrate greater value-add and will help you stand out compared to others.

5. TELL A STORY

As a follow-up to the last tip. Your website should have a basic message, theme or a range of ideas that differentiate you in the marketplace. 95% of professional service firms rightly say that client-service is at the heart of their offering – this is a good message – but when everybody says the same thing, you may want to consider going a little further.

How do you serve those clients better than everybody else? Are you faster? More dynamic? More friendly? More precise? Do you have more specialised knowledge? More useful partnerships? A joined-Up Approach? Obsessed about the detail? Pick a couple of ideas and tell a few stories either with your web-copy or images that will help to emphasise and bring these ideas to life.

6. MAKE CONTACT EASY

A very, very simple one but something which can be neglected at times. It is YOUR duty to ensure that the person looking at your content can reach you easily. This means contact details in all the right places – on the home-sliders, on the menu, an easily-accessible contact-page, a good quality enquiry form, social media links or numbers directly to partners. You decide what that line between ‘accessible’ and ‘desperate’ is but it should never be a chore to contact any organisation. Otherwise you don’t deserve the business.

7. CONTEXT

Professional services are all about reputation and relationships. The majority of your clients will have come through referrals.

Try wherever possible and with whatever means to tell a story – even a short one about the kind of service you provide? There are so many tools out there such as video which allow you to introduce a little more of the human side of yourself. Take a chance and get yourself out there. You’ll be one of the few that do and fortune favours the brave.

If you’d like some help – contact us >>>

Benedetto

BB

Benedetto is an enthusiastic Creative and Business person.

‘Design with soul’ may be the company tag-line, but to Benedetto, it is also a way of life. He believes that creative and commercial enterprise is about purity of thought, honesty of construction and boldness of execution.

He believes in bringing out the true essence of human endeavour and considers his job of articulating the great work of people and companies an absolute privilege.

His journey has taken him from a career in car design through to his current role as the Founder of the loft, a design and branding studio based in Glasgow.

He is honoured to manage a great team, work with great clients and have a lot of fun mixing with so many great people in business.

24
Oct

A look back at #SMWGla….

Hi folks,

Social Media Week happens to be over one month ago. We have already discussed our event twice now and felt it time to pay tribute to some of the other great events that happened that week in the city of Glasgow. Firstly, it must be said that Glasgow well and truly stepped up to the mark for Social Media Week. With over 130+ events in the city and people chipping in to assist with venues, catering, speakers etc, all in one week alone. It was fantastic to be a part of it.

Glasgow, leading the way…

Call us innovators, call us early adopters but the people of Glasgow well and truly showed that we are absolutely at the forefront of digital technology. Social Media Week saw over 130 events in the city, but more importantly, they were described by our friends around the world and in particular in New York as some of the most forward looking and innovative events. ‘Social Media’ is still a relatively new term but the underlying concepts of sharing and collaboration are ideals that have been fully embraced by the city of Glasgow during Social Media Week and it will be interesting to see where it goes from here…

#SMWBanter

Well everybody in the city knows ‘Business Banter,’ one of Glasgow’s most loved networking events. A large part of the Banter’s success was due to the LinkedIN group and Twitter where the hash-tag #TDBB dominates the Twitter-waves every Thursday morning. For Social Media Week, a one-off banter would not suffice. Jacky of ‘Think Different Events’ pulled off a massive operation. Not only holding five daily banters with a revised format but also arranging for five speakers at each and having them filmed at the same time and published online. No small feat. Truly getting into the spirit of social media by allowing the content to be shared; something that was appreciated by many.

You can check out some of the videos below including my own presentation…

All of the Videos can be found on The Banter’s video page at http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=22A5E4F25B94156B

I personally had the pleasure of talking about ‘social branding’ on the Thursday morning and can say that I thoroughly enjoyed speaking at the event as well as listening to the other presentations. After enthusing about the banter for a quite a few months, my sister, who lives in London, who was with me on the Thursday morning commented that the banter was her ‘favourite event of the week.’ All in all, a massive tribute to Jackie for pulling it off. He was even able to organise separate organisers on the two days he wasn’t present. Its this attitude and dedication to the greater good that makes the Banter so universally popular with businesses in Glasgow and puts the ‘social’ into social media.

You can follow Think Different on Twitter @ThinkDifferentE

Or check out ‘The Banter’ on Twitter @business_banter

#SMWine

Of course, any wine tasting event in the city of Glasgow was always likely to be well received. But #SMWine held at the West brewery was an absolutely great event. It was engaging, good fun and international too. The event was hosted and communicated live via Skype by wine expert Pieter Rosenthal. Making this a true international social media event. We tried a multitude of great wines which were all tasted whilst being told about their various stories by Pieter. Now my mind may be a little hazy here, but if I remember right, they included three whites, three reds and champagne. The favourite being an Argentinian white from Argentina called Trivento.

You can watch the full event below…

Or follow Pieter Rosenthal on Twitter at @pieterrosenthal

T-Shirt Freak Out

One of my absolute favourite events of the week came from one of our very own clients. Raschique Narwan of fashion brand Freak Dem. Her T-Shirt Freak Out was quite simply magnificent. A two part event with the second part hosted at the Lighthouse, it included design, music and comedy all of the highest order. Part one of the event was to conduct a competition for a t-shirt design, where designers were invited to contribute their designs. Social Media would be used to gauge opinion and feedback. On the Friday evening, the very last event of the week, the results of the t-shirt competitions were announced in an excellent show that included a powerful speech by Raschique herself about the urban society she wants to build with Freak Dem as well as wonderful singing from Amore Kai, Mo Sharif and the hilarious comedy of Sean Reid. A wonderful way to finish the week. After a number of seminars, formal presentations and the like from the business community; it was really great to kick back, listen to some great music and have a few laughs at the T-Shirt Freak Out. Well done Freak Dem!!

Find out more about Freak Dem on Twitter @chiquefreak

#SMWGladon

Watch live streaming video from smw_glasgow at livestream.com

Finally, one of the absolute highlights of Social Media Week Glasgow was the official event close by Don Tapscott. The author of ‘Wikinomics’ gave a one-hour presentation and Q+A session via Skype to the audience at the Sky Park. I must say that when Tim of Twintangibles first mentioned Don Tapscott as a possibility to speak at the event. I must confess that I had never heard of him and some of the significance of his presence was a little lost on me. But I must say that since his presentation and having viewed a few more of his videos online, I have realised the enormity of the man’s thinking. “A significant moment in human history” was one of the key quotes in a presentation that was littered with an incredible analysis of the global situation we find ourselves in this moment. Not solely in terms of social media, digitalisation but in terms of a complete paradigm shift from the industrial age and subsequent information age to a new paradigm of ‘networked intelligence.’ “The old institutions that have served us well no longer fit in a modern world.” It was a powerhouse of intellectual thinking. His most notable book ‘Wikinomics,’ is described as a manual to ‘re-boot business and the modern world.’

On the basis of his presentation to the Glasgow Crowd, this would seem to be no exaggeration and is a copy that I shall be reading very soon. For anybody that is interested in sifting deeper into the mechanisms of a rapidly changing world or would like to better understand the real and exciting possibilities of social media. This is an absolute ‘must watch.’ I shall be blogging very soon about some of the topics raised by Don Tapscott and some of those failing institutions. You will know who they all are…

You can find out more about Wikinomics at http://www.wikinomics.com/blog/

Twintangibles

Whilst discussing Social Media Week, I must close by congratulating my good friends Tim and Daniela of Twintangibles. Twintangibles along with New Media Corp, were the event organisers and put their heart and soul in making the week what it was. They absolutely ensured that the events remained true to the principles of social media and were absolutely tireless in their efforts in what was an incredibly large, and at times, complex operation. It was their vision, desire and ability to inspire that made Social Media Week, what it was in Glasgow. The capturing of a man like Don Tapscott was symbolic of the herculean effort they made. And no less than they deserved. For people that truly want to embrace the true spirit and potential of social media, I suggest that you check out their website at http://twintangibles.co.uk/ In the picture above, Tim and Daniela are second and fourth from the left where they are joined by Danny Gray of Google on the left and Arvind Salwan of New Media Corp who also deserves a huge thank you for his great work.

Massive congratulations and thank you to all of you!

Have a great week folks…

Benedetto Bordone

You can follow the Loft on…

Facebook http://on.fb.me/ejMqSi

Twitter http://bit.ly/i55gEo

Linkedin http://linkd.in/hpTwdn

23
Oct

Future Forward, a look back…

Hi folks,

Its been a while since I last updated the Loft’s blog. It has been an incredibly busy time recently, mainly due to our Social Media Week event, Future Forward and the backlog of work afterwards. I wanted to take a little time to briefly reflect properly on our event, but above all else to look back at Social Media Week.

Future Forward

Social Media Week Glasgow

Taking part in ‘Future Forward’ was an incredible experience. The content of these blogs have seen us regularly discuss a profound change in branding communication and why an acceptance and astute use of social media is central to this change. The event was designed to communicate our own ideas that brands are built not solely on visual content but on actual actions. However, in keeping with the Social Media theme, we wanted ‘Future Forward’ to see if we could crowd source ideas and inspiration from an engaged global community for our client brand of the day ‘Glasgow Whisky Tours.’ Looking back, the concept for this kind of event was an incredibly ambitious one and thanks mainly to the hard work of many people, I think we just about pulled it off…

Glasgow Whisky Tours

Glasgow Whisky Tours from Ramsay MacFarlane on Vimeo.

Glasgow Whisky Tours were the perfect partner/client. We cannot thank Victor Brierley enough for his contribution. The ultimate Showman! Firstly, for stepping in at such short notice and grasping the concept of the event. It would have been ‘oh so easy’ to have been overly precious of the great brand work they have already done and pull their punches. But Victor did not. He was an absolutely incredible source of ideas. I have never seen one man able to source so many ideas in 1-2 hours. Funnily enough, while myself and the design team began brainstorming with Victor, and before the ‘digital conversation’ had even begun. We had about 5 pages full of great ideas. From a social media point of view, it kind of stunted our social media experiment, but why hang about. We had enough ideas to go forth and extra time to develop them. Thanks in a large part to Victor.

In the evening presentations, Victor also gave a tremendous presentation. As somebody who likes to stick to the script. I very much admired of Victor being able to give a knowledgeable, humorous and structured presentation of ‘Glasgow Whisky Tours’ with no notes. Furthermore, he was ably backed up by his partner Donald MacLellan, who likewise, presented his company in an exceptional manner with no notes. Finally we must thank them for the beautiful bottle of Bruichladdich 12 year old whisky they supplied for the after-party, which was also great fun. Overall, the perfect company to collaborate with.

Check out Glasgow Whisky Tours at http://glasgowwhiskytours.com/

Jim Henderson of Shirlaws

Jim Henderson made a fantastic contribution in each of the various parts of the event. Jim was the first person asked to come on-board and he ably demonstrated his ability in each of the various parts of the event. One of the reasons we so badly wanted Jim was his ability to take a complete step back from any business, analyse it in first principles and see the bigger picture as well as the future possibilities. His company Shirlaws are unique in their approach to not solely focus on ‘operational matters’ but on the ability to shape the company emotionally in the corrext context. They speak a lot about energy and rightly so. It is the invisible force that empowers any business’s number one resource, their staff. If we are designers of brand identity, Shirlaws assist in the designing of the business itself. In this role, Jim’s thoroughness and ability to coaxe the correct answers from Victor pre-event was vital. His line of questioning was critical in generating the correct brand analysis. In the evening, as expected, Jim gave an exceptional presentation on the importance of ‘positioning’ and why any company’s position should be effectively worked out before the beginning of any communications strategy. All the while, keeping the bigger picture in mind. A true pro and one of the favourites of the night.

You can find out more about Jim Henderson and Shirlaws on Twitter at @jimatshirlaws

Antonella and Ani

One of the best aspects of ‘Future Forward’ was the splendid contribution of the two London-based designers Antonella Bordone and Ani Passarelli. Victor was a little amused at the thought of two London designers, one with an Italian background and one from Guatemala re-designing such an authentically Scottish brand. However, they were both brilliant, and that is no over-statement. In the space of 6 hours, we had conducted a brand analysis, held a brainstorming session, generated numerous concepts and chosen three to develop. In the space of four hours, we were able to visualise three different concepts. A tremendous achievement for such a small space of time. None of this would have been possible, were it not for the incredible design skills of Antonella and Ani. They were able to grasp the concept, the Glasgow Whisky Tours brand identity and created close to 15 concept storyboards in the matter of hours. All with an exceptional use of the software and the correct level of brand sensitivity.

The results of which can all be found on our event infograph at http://www.theloft.co/our-work/future-forward/

On a personal note, it was just great to have them around and they made a lot of friends in Glasgow as we attended a number of the other events together..

Follow them on Twitter at…

Antonella Bordone @antolondon

Ani Passarelli @AniPassarelli

Hera Hussain

I must also thank Hera Hussain of Building Your Momentum and IA Cubed. Hera played a massive part in promoting the event and definitely brought much energy to all of the various proceedings. Her tweets, images and videos all played a great part in communicating the event to what seemed like all of Glasgow. We must thank her for this as well as giving a great presentation on the evening. The biggest compliment I can give is that ‘post-event.’ Hera Hussain was the name on a lot of people’s lips. And she was even able to attend pretty much every other event of Social Media Week and actively participated in several of her own..

Thanks to Hera and ‘Building Your Momentum,’ You can also see highlights of several of the speakers at…

Future Forward event clips from Building Your Momentum on Vimeo.

I am sure you know her already but in case you dont, you can follow Hera on Twitter at @herahussain

Others

I would also like to thank The Go Group and IA Cubed for their roles in the day. Particularly Kirsta and Susan from ‘Business and Training’ at Go, who were very professional and courteous in their dealings. Above all else, I would like to thank you the people of Glasgow for giving us such a great turn-out. We know there was 50-60 people there on the night and it was one of the busiest events of the week. There was a great atmosphere on the night and it made what was a massive investment of time and energy into something that felt truly worthwhile. We have definitely looked at the merits of the event and we are eager to host another one in the future. I genuinely believe that the spirit of social media, ‘sharing of knowledge and ideas’ is one way that we can prosper together. We would like to push this concept further. We have been approached by several parties about doing it all again, perhaps sooner than possible, so watch this space…

And finally on a personal note, I must absolutely thank friends and family and you know who you all are. They all helped out massively with various parts of the event, and its true to say that the event wouldn’t have been possible without them. Thank you…

You can check out the official infograph for the event at…

http://www.theloft.co/our-work/future-forward/

Have a great week folks and keep an eye out for another post about the other events of Social Media Week…

Benedetto Bordone

You can follow the Loft on…

Facebook http://on.fb.me/ejMqSi

Twitter http://bit.ly/i55gEo

Linkedin http://linkd.in/hpTwdn