Journal

Building Websites for Builders

In the last year, LaLa Projects had the privilege of working with 5 different builders to create custom websites for their businesses. The biggest hurdles that builders face when putting together a website are supplying images of their work and developing text content for each page and project on the website.

Photography

Typically, builders are not great about taking photos of their finished work. It is understandably challenging to get photos of finished building projects, when you are working there are tools and parts all over the place and nothing is finished. When your work is complete there is no furniture or landscaping, without this final staging step the photos would not be that interesting.

Consider this, a key component for most construction websites is a portfolio section, clients want to see what type of work you have done in the past. They want to know that the company they are hiring to do a project for hundreds of thousands of dollars can handle the work. So, if you a builder with dreamers of building a website, start taking photos of all your work.

Hiring a professional photographer to shoot your work is great idea. Assuming you have a number of completed projects in the past. They should be able to coordinate with the owners to stage the space and take photos of the interior and exterior of the property. On average it will cost $300 per property. It will be worth it when you land your next $500,000 project. It is a relatively small investment that is well worth the money.

Moving forward, you could plan photography into every project that you do, work it into your process and into your quote. A great example of beautiful photos is from LaLa client blacksheepcabinets.com.

Copywriting

When you are working with LaLa Projects on a website be prepared to sit down with a copywriter. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is driven by text content. It is recommended that each web page has 300 words per page. This may seem like a lot of content, but if you want your website to place well on the search engines we are going to need to craft your website content with SEO in mind.

Work with LaLa Projects

LaLa Projects will help you get past these hurdles and more, but at least now you know what to expect.


Brand Building through Archetypes

“The Hero and The Outlaw” is an eye opening read for people interested in building brands. Archetypes are deeply rooted personas that are intrinsically part of our collective psyche. When you identify your company’s archetype it can help you better communicate your product or service and it can help you develop your company culture.

According to “The Hero and The Outlaw” book all brands are built on the following twelve archetypes:

  • Creator
  • Caregiver
  • Ruler
  • Jester
  • Regular Guy/Gal
  • Lover
  • Hero
  • Outlaw
  • Magician
  • Innocent
  • Explorer
  • Sage

After reading this book you will start to see archetypes in all the advertising and programming that you consume. In retrospect, when looking back to various jobs that I have held over the years, I see how the core values of a company affected the company culture. Sometimes the values of the companies were well thought out other times the values seemed to happen more organically. Either way, like tends to attract like, for example creative people are drawn to work for creator archetype based companies.

Once you see this list of archetypes, it is relatively easy to determine which archetype relates to the brand you are working on. The personality of a business tends to shine through. Understanding what archetype the business is will help to everyone from designers, copywriters and other staff members to better project the brand and mission of the business.

Learn more about author Carol S. Pearson >


DIY Ombre’ Accent Wall

I had been living in my tan condo for 4 years when I saw the ombre’ trend popping up on my Pinterest feed. If you know me at all, you know I love color.  This trend inspired me to create a fun accent wall in my dining area.  It was just the thing I needed to finish this space.

You can follow me through my journey into the world of DIY ombre’ accent walls.  Maybe it will help you create your own.

The soon to be ombre’ accent wall

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I decided to do a two color ombre’ fade. I wanted it to remind me of water because my favorite color is turquoise.  So, I went with a deep rich teal for the bottom of the wall and a bright white for the top. First, I moved out all the furniture and used blue painter’s tape on all the edges that I wanted to protect.  I recommend adding extra wide patches of tape especially if you use a sponge for blending.   It’s nice to have a little extra working room. Additionally, whenever you paint I recommend a big drop cloth to protect the floor.

Using the teal and white paint I was able to hand mix the tints of color needed to create the ombre’ effect.  I started with three colors:  deep teal, white and something in between.

The First Coat

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Next, I began mixing the paint in small batches working from dark to light.  I started with the dark paint, added a bit of white and worked that color up the wall.  I repeated the process several more times to get the color fade I was looking for.  I mostly used a sponge to do the fade work and a spray bottle with water in it to keep the paint moist and workable.  Later, a painter friend suggested working with a glaze to keep the paint moist, so you could try that too.

A first Attempt

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This process took a number of days because I had to let the paint dry in between my sessions.  If I didn’t, the paint would start to pull up on the sponge.

Another Session

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At one point, I thought I might be finished. But, I decided to give it one last session.  I worked the gradient from the bottom to the top one more time and I am so happy that I put the extra work in.

Almost Done

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Well worth the extra effort!

One Last Session

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I love how the ombre’ wall tuned out.  When you are sitting in the nook  it feels like you are floating under water and it really added a nice pop of  color to my dining area.  Now, this little area of my home is completely finished. It is perfect for intimate dinners or playing cards with friends and relatives.

The Completed Ombre’ Accent Wall

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Photography: The Backbone of a Great Online Marketing Strategy

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Photos are incredibly important in online marketing and social media. Having fresh photos to help tell your story is essential to growing your business. We are living in a stimulating visual environment where content and imagery is consumed at a very quick rate.

For example, if you post just three posts a week with only one photo per post, that would add up to 156 photos for the year. Yes, that is a lot of photographs. You can do many of them yourself, but you also need a collection of professional photos that capture your mission, your presence, and the essence of your venture.

  • To kick off your social media efforts we can help you curate an existing collection of photos to get them ready for use.
  • We can schedule a photo shoot of you, your staff and your business in general. We work with a number of local Traverse City photographers. They will come to your place to document your business life. They typically deliver at least 100 beautiful photos for you to use in on your website and social media outreach.
  • For some businesses, a short photo shoot several times a year, throughout the seasons, will be needed to keep pace with the changes in your business.
  • We can also advise you on how to take the best photos for your social media needs.
  • Another option is to purchase stock photos.

Website Menu Inspiration

This is a fun menu inspiration website.  I love all the fun transitions and line work.

Get Inspired


Facebook’s New Business Page Layout

Facebook recently changed the layout of their business page a bit.  Here is a helpful link to help you size your profile and banner images correctly for full and mobile versions.

Facebook Image Sizes


New Website for LUOP Bottle Openers

LaLa Projects Designed, Developed and Launched the new website for LUOP Bottle Openers this week.  luopmi.com

luop-macbook


New Website for Century Farm Cottages

LaLa Projects Designed, Developed and Launched the new website for Century Farm Cottages this month.  centuryfarmcottages.com

century-farm-macbook


New Website for Cherryland Jazz Society

LaLa Projects launched a new website for Cherryland Jazz Society last month!

cherrylandjazzsociety.org

cherrylandjazz-macbook


Helpful Articles about SEO

When I build or manage a website I am always looking for ways to improve SEO.  Many times my clients want to understand what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is and how they can incorporate it into their website.  SEO is created through a million small choices throughout the build and management process. Here are a few articles that I think people may find helpful.

Basic SEO

The Importance of Page Titles