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Are you creating your world by design? Or are you simply existing in it? Most of us don’t ask ourselves these types of questions anymore. What makes a good design anyways? Ask ten different people which design is best and most of the time you will get ten different opinions. Clearly design is much more than what we see with our eyes.

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Design Has Crafted Our World

Often times we have just learned to inherit the old designs of past that really half the time weren’t even working then! For example before Eli Whitney all products that were made, once they broke down had to be purchased again. Eli knew this design sucked. So he created interchangeable parts solving several things that were important to users (cost-effectiveness, recyclability, and overall common sense). Through the past century all of us have seen the benefits of such innovation of design. Recently with the surge of technology we are making a sharp turn backwards when it comes to interchangeable parts, especially when it comes to cell phones.

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Over the past ten years cell phones have become one of the most obsolete items and quick. I myself am on my 5th smart phone in that timeframe. The new design that has replaced Eli Whitney’s interchangeable parts goes something like this: patent anything possible then hold out on releasing new technology so that we force the user to use “outdated” devices in a current market where we have known much greater advances. We simply won’t release them because we make more money doing it this way. This is a very outdated and short-sighted design.

If we constantly are constrained by how much money single organizations can make then we are literally handcuffing society from moving forward at much higher levels. Can you imagine if you put chains on the best athlete how well they would be able to perform? Well that’s what happens when we lose sight of the big picture.

The Purpose Of Our Designs

Design is simply the conscious thought to organize data or materials in a system with purpose. It can be quoted in the dictionary as: purpose, planning, or intention that exists or is thought to exist behind an action, fact, or material object.

The question that we forget most of the time is what is the purpose?

What is the big picture? Do we even remember anymore? If you have traveled through the jungles of LA or the fast paced life of New York it might be very easy to forget. This world is bigger than each of us. It serves the purposes of many things. It has been designed that way. So why are we trying to go against that in almost every notion of society and business?

Don’t do it in design. Chances are the business owners you work with won’t be as privy to this as you need to be. Remember to always question the purpose or functions of the design you are creating. Find out more about the landscape before you begin building. The clearer it is why and what you are doing, the more effective each design is going to turn out.

Designs That Work

Not all designs are created equal. There are designs that work and designs that don’t. What is work? Well it could be said that designs that work:

  • Get it done, whatever it is
  • Spell it out quickly
  • Invoke or embody greater purpose
  • Are extendable
  • Replace outdated solutions continuously
  • Just are effective
  • Communicate usage almost subconsciously
  • Have significant thought put in
  • Aim to innovate
  • Guide users along

 

There’s Always A Better Way

Think of your design as a living breathing organism that is constantly learning and adapting to better suit itself in its current environment. Shit aren’t we all?

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From that same notion can you truly say our society is the most usable it can be? Of course not. There’s always a better way. I remember when I was taking singing lessons from my teachers and they would always tell me this way is the best. Well when you get enough evaluative experience you will learn that there are several ways to climb a mountain. To begin to define better you need variables, and once you have variables you begin to put things to the test and that’s where trust me: there will always be a better way awaiting discovery.

Just ask Einstein or Newton if you could. Because now a lot of their ideas have been adapted and added upon to better explain the world than they could at their time.

With more serious clients you may find it useful to adopt a maintenance design package where you then go in after launch and collect user information and data so that you can begin to alter your design to taste. Feedback and time through usage always gives a more accurate reading than at the onset of any launch regardless how much beta testing is done.

All Trends Die Hard

Remember slavery? Wasn’t that a good decision? Or what about smoking in the 70s and 80s? Everyone was doing it. It was even doctor approved at one point! You can thank mirror neurons for that! That can be explained as why we have the tendency to make extremely stupid decisions based completely on the fact that everyone else is doing it. Even I was a smoker once.  Blog

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At one point in time we all believed: the Earth was the center of the universe, mercury was a healing agent, there were only 9 planets, women couldn’t vote, the universe was slowing down, and so on.

This should definitely help illustrate to not always trust the trends of the present. Instead focus more on the purpose and do the necessary research, asking the pertinent questions from yourself and your design.

So how is it that we design a better world?

Stop designing for the now or what already is. Begin to look ahead and see where the world is headed. What users are doing today aren’t what they are going to be doing tomorrow. It’s by asking questions, conceptualizing a more effective future, re-defining what is effective and isn’t that we begin to consciously draw up and slowly inhabit a better world made by design.

Were all on the path to a better world. One design at a time.

Visit us for more web design and marketing information.

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The new year is here and yes it’s time to make some serious decisions online. Year after year it is becoming increasingly important to think ahead in an ever changing technological society. The things that worked yesterday aren’t going to work today. Business models that depended on older forms of business are not going to last the test of time as technology will continue to revolutionize the way we see the world as a whole.

Just think about 10 – 15 years ago when television was extremely different than it is today. Look at how much our psychological societal behavior has changed in just the last decade! Business corresponds with these social changes and aims to fulfill needs that arise in the process. If you aren’t thinking about the market in a long term way, then you might as well begin packing your company up right now. “Adapt or die” prime minister of South Africa Pieter Willem Botha said to parliament in 1978. Boy did he have it figured out! You should begin seeing it that way too before it is too late. Let’s face it. In 1978 change was imminent, however the changes that are coming in society technologically speaking are revolutionizing the world faster than it ever has before. Just 20 years ago business was not done on computers. There were no cell phones and there was no need to be thinking about digital and online strategy in this same way. All aboard?!

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The Technological Train To The Future

Imagine for a second that your business was lifted up onto a car train, much like the ones you can take to Copenhagen over the harbor. In business you need fuel to carry you forward in your endeavors. Sometimes that fuel comes from referrals. Other times it comes from being around for a long time. However now with the world going more global by the minute, those same modalities aren’t going to get you to the next stop. You need to be putting your attention and investment into the new light rail systems that should have replaced the New York subways long long ago!  Blog

  • Content Depth – yes it’s still king when in context. The more content depth scattered across as many satellite sites as you can, well in a somewhat targeted manner – the better! People tend to forget that without content that is meaningful what are you really trying to do? As branding and marketing continues to rage on in the business world, more and more firms are going to get eaten up in the fold. Stay on top of your future as you continue to stoke the fire with meaningful communication and outreach in your field.
  • Branding – It’s quite hilarious to watch as many struggle to figure this key component out yet still today. The biggest companies in the world tend to most of the time be the biggest brands. Think that’s a coincidence? Brands have value. Straight up. Even when the business has failed and all looks grim, there are many that will buy your brand if it has value. So why not begin building that brand name value asap!?
  • Digital Strategy – Most people look at their online presence as a website and a bunch of social media accounts they have to manage. What a waste! Who wants to work with anyone that has to do something? I’m in a band that I run when I am away from business and the other guys mentioned the other night: “who likes working when they don’t have to”? Haha, I do! And quite honestly so do people that are truly passionate about what they are doing in this world. You should feel the same about your digital strategy. Do you have one? Who makes it? How far is it taking you today?

Time and time again we get leads here in the door from organizations that want to integrate, innovate, and move forward on their business path. Often enough they are stuck in old processes and behaviors that ultimately are preventing them from moving forward swiftly with ease. Well it’s time we all started thinking ahead and preparing our websites, digital strategy, and overall marketing plan for the long stretch ahead. No more dead ends, pit falls, and beliefs that the old way will work for us. Now it’s time to build the path ahead. For more tips check out our main site: http://www.thelightwurx.com/

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We’ve all been working very hard here at The Lightwurx as the year comes to a close. In business there are always lessons to be learned every year as your business grows older. As the climate changes in the business hemisphere we have made numerous advances to be able to bring our new website to you.

Our New Website!

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http://www.thelightwurx.com/

Modern, Modern Design!

As modern design continues to rage on in the field we have certainly taken notice. Without losing the feel of who we are, we feel that we have successfully incorporated elements of modern design in a very usable way. Of course as time goes on we will continue to see our results in the analytics and work day to day to get the conversions up. Yes we are in the same business you are. Leads, conversions, work. It’s the way the world works.

Thank you to all of our clients we’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past year and for all the wonderful new ones to come!

Welcoming in a new year of love, life, and business.

Love,
Benjamin Dara

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You’ve got a great construction company. You do great work. You’ve done a great job of creating some awareness for your construction company and your work. How can you now create some interest in your company? The key getting people’s interest is to create value, establish your brand as an authority, and offer something to people.

Creating Value

People will not be interested in your company if they do not see the value in it. You may know that your company is valuable, but how you communicate that to them is going to make all the difference in how people perceive the value of your construction company. There is certainly an intrinsic value in being able to provide a service to somebody. If that were all it took though, people would call you just by mere fact that you’ve started a business. The trick to creating value is in showing people how your company is more valuable than the other construction companies you are competing with. What can you do to give yourself added value?

Have An Impressive Website

How you present yourself online will reflect in how people perceive you and the value of your website. So much of the way people think and act is based on perceptions that they have which may or may not align with reality. The way your website looks and feels will heavily influence the way that people perceive your company. What does it say about your construction company if your website is poorly designed? It says a lot of things, and most of them are not things you’d want to say to your clientele. What will make your website add value to your company is not just what it says, but also the way it makes people feel. You can make your website go a long way for you by targeting people’s emotions.

The reason targeting people’s emotions works so well is because the way people usually decide is “with their gut.” This is just a metaphor for “with their emotions.” Some emotions that you may want to target are excitement for the construction project they want done, inspiration, and being nurtured or like they will be taken care of. If you make people feel that your company is the best it will do much more to bring in business than just telling them.

Establishing Your Brand As An Authority

People want to work with an authority. They don’t want just an amateur contractor to come in and do the job. They want a professional to come in and do the job right. The way people distinguish amateurs from professionals is the authority that any given company may have in the field. There are a few ways people discern authorities from amateurs.

    • Salutations
    • Salutations are who you’ve worked with. What projects have you done that not only show good work, but were for people who already have authority. They don’t necessarily need to be people who also work in construction that you’ve worked with. Just people who have some name recognition in general. If you built a new facility for Google, that’s something people will take notice of. Obviously landing a job that big is difficult and you may not have quite that kind of job in your portfolio. Take some time to think about the jobs you’ve done and which ones are going to have the most clout. Then leverage those jobs on your website by showing you’ve done good work for them, and asking them to approve a good review you can use.
    • Portfolio

People are going to want to see the work you’ve done. Having a solid portfolio is going to give your company more authority than if your portfolio looks thrown together and sloppy. Imagine having a potential employee give you a tattered, unorganized resume versus a resume that is clean and well put together. All other things being equal you’d hire the guy with the resume that was well organized and looked nice. Your portfolio is the same way. It needs to be presented in a way that reflects the quality of your work. Having a good showcase online that is easy to navigate and inviting to look through will show people that you care about your work, on the job, and off the job.

  • Stability

Showing that you’ve been around for a while shows that you will probably continue to be around. People want to work with someone who is stable within the industry. Lots of companies come and go. Seventy percent of companies that go out of business fail within the first year. This makes people wary of newer companies. Don’t let this discourage you if you’re a newer business though. You can use personal stability to show that you’ve got a great team that will be around for a long time to come. If people know that you came from a strong background they will have more faith in the future of the company.

Offer Something To People

There are many things you can offer to people. Besides offering a free giveaway like we talked about in our previous blog, you can simply offer knowledge, perspective, or consultations. Having something of value on your website that people can take away will make you stick out in their mind. By giving them some of your expertise you say to them “We know so well what we’re doing that we’ll teach you.” Imagine your contractor website has designed a rather extensive guide to decking. People who are do it yourself oriented may take the time and energy to build their own deck, inspired by your guide. Then down the line when they get to a project they don’t have the tools or expertise to build, your company will be in their mind. Some less ambitious people may begin reading the guide and realize they don’t have the time to get a deck built. They will also realize that you do and you will be first on their list of contractors to call.

Get Creative In How You Build Interest

This list is by no means comprehensive. There are many more things you can do to create interest in your construction company. Getting creative with how you stir up interest will yield double because people like to see something creative. Even taking a creative approach to some of the tips in this blog will show people that your company is something a little different from the rest. Standing out from the crowd is the surest way to create interest. How will you stand out?

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Every construction company knows they need leads from their website. If you read our last blog about the AIDA Funnel then you know the first step is to create awareness about your company. This is something that is rather intuitive. Of course people need to be aware of you. The trick is answering the question: how do you create that awareness? This blog will give you a few tricks and ideas for getting your name out there onto the web.

Create A Construction Oriented Blog

One of the best ways to get your name out there is to start a blog on your website. By having a blog you are able to accomplish a few different things that will help create awareness of your company.

  • Gives you a place to communicate with your market.
    By having a blog on your website you are able to build a relationship with people who may be researching some work that they will need, but are not ready to act on. A blog is a way for your company to show that you know what you’re talking about, without having to do a lot of selling. People will appreciate that you’ve given them some advice, and will remember that when they are ready to choose a company.
  • Allows you to get links to your site on blog registries.
    Having links to your website is a very important aspect of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Blog registries have been set up for a lot of different industries and they are relatively easy to register for. Once you have a few blogs posted, search for blog registries in your industry, or even blog registries in general. When you have a list compiled it’s as simple as taking the time to register for them. After you’ve registered your blog in a few (really as many as possible) it is just a matter of waiting for the registry to approve your blog.
  • Creates a place to target your market.
    Having keywords that you want people to search on your website is an important part of SEO. Your blog is a perfect place to add a few targeted keywords. This can be a fine line to walk. You don’t want to be spammy with the keywords. Your blogs need to read naturally, but if you do find an opportunity to add a targeted keyword here and there it will be very beneficial to the SEO of your construction website (see what I did there?)

Design & Offer A Free Give Away

People love free stuff. If you are giving away something that people find useful, that will make you stick out in their mind. This doesn’t mean that you need to be giving away a car every month. What you’re giving away can be as simple as an estimate. Lots of companies give away free estimates though. So much so that it has become something people expect, and therefor does not set you apart. What things can you give away that will set you apart without breaking the bank? Downloadable E-books are a great option. If your business does renovations then you could create an E-book that teaches your clients about how to do their own project, or how to select the right materials they’ll need. The key is making sure that it is useful. If they know you have valuable information then they will think of you when they have a project they can’t do themselves. The more you can cement themselves in your market’s minds the more leads you will begin to get.

Stay Active On Social Media

These days, social media is king. This doesn’t mean not to have a website. Quite the opposite, it means that you want all of your social media to lead people to your website. The only way to do that is to stay active on social media. It takes time to do this. So you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. There are a million social media channels and it is a full time job to stay active on all of them. If you pick two, maybe three, and really focus on those you will be much better able to stay active. What does it mean to stay active? By posting two or three times a week you will stay relevant in people’s minds. Your posts don’t need to be real fancy. If you’re already posting a blog on your website then post a link on your social media about it. If you just completed a project, post some pictures. Post some pictures while you’re building the project to! Think about what your friends post, they post things like what they had for lunch. Your social media doesn’t need to be super fancy, it just needs to be consistent.

Paid Advertising

This is a point that a lot of people hem and haw at. Lots of people don’t want to admit that advertising is worth the money. The fact is that it is that it is. It doesn’t take a whole lot of money though. You don’t need to advertise everything you do. Advertising on some KEY social posts will go a long way. Say you’ve just created an E-book for people that want to start a do it yourself construction project. This is definitely something you want to plaster all over your social media. By setting aside maybe 40$ to boost the post on Facebook, you can get much return on your efforts. Selecting the posts that you really want people to see and advertising on them, you will get your name out there much more effectively than without it.

Be An Authority

Being an authority is all about how people perceive you. By doing things like creating quality content, staying active, and blogging, you will grow your online web presence and authority. When you are a bigger presence, people will take notice. Then you can begin to prove your value to them with the content that you have. When people see quality content, they assume that the people providing that content do quality work. Conversely, if you don’t have that quality content, people will assume that you are not an authority. By doing some, or all of the things on this list, you will grow your authority and begin to get more leads from your website. It’s paid off quite while at our web design firm that we’ve planted ourselves as an authority in our field. We know it will do the same for you!

Building Awareness Takes Time

These are all tips that you can begin to apply today. The results that they yield will be fruitful, but it will take a bit of time for registries to pick up your blog, people to see you on Facebook, and to create all the content you need to put out. The question you need to ask yourself is “Is your business worth the time?”

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