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Celebrating over 10 Years of Creative Design and Website Design in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands

Celebrating over 10 Years of Creative Design

 

 

Winner of the best established business of the year!

Winner of the best established business of the year!

We were delighted to be awarded with 'Best Established Business (over 2 years) at the inaugural Business Networking Awards on January 26th 2013, and to make it even more special, this award was sponsored by our client Clare Whalley of Meta4 Coaching and Training Solutions.

The runners up for this award were: Brookes Stephens Four Oaks Financial Services and Sheelagh Powell Make Up

Pam Neaves says "We were pleased to get down to the final four and absolutely ecstatic to win, it's been a fantastic decade of designing to help local businesses in Sutton Coldfield improve their online presence through their websites, setting up and training them in how to use Social Media to attract more customers and we look forward to helping others succeed in the future"

 

Winner of the best established business of the year!
Winner of the best established business of the year!Winner of the best established business of the year!
Winner of the best established business of the year!
Winner of the best established business of the year!Winner of the best established business of the year!
 

 

 
Do my customers look for me online? - 15th December 2011

Christmas 2012

In Christmas 2012 Pam Neaves helped Birmingham Basket Briggade to parcel up and deliver food and gifts for those less fortunate in the Birmingham area. "It was a great day, everyone was so cheerful and compassionate giving up one day on one of the busiest Christmas shopping days to give something back and pay forward a random act of kindness.",

 

 

 
Do my customers look for me online? - 15th December 2011

Making Social Media Work For You

Clip taken from Mint Creative Solutions' workshop for small businesses to help them understand the importance of Social Media and how they can use it to raise the awareness of their business,

 

 

 

Using Creativity to Weather the Storm

In recent times the majority of companies have found themselves struggling to secure customers and attract new business. Sales are low across the board due to an unstable financial climate and an increasing number of job losses in virtually all business sectors. To this end, it is vital to open your mind to the power of creativity in order to think differently and make your company really stand out from the crowd.

Marketing tactics that may have worked perfectly well for you in the past, may not cut the mustard in this current, shaky climate. It has become essential to use creative design and effective communications to survive and thrive in tough these times. You may have noticed that the majority of the ‘big player’ companies have started to aggressively push their products and services via the power of media; millions of pounds are being spent on TV, radio and paper adverts some from companies who have never had to advertise in this way before in a battle to see ‘Who can shout the loudest?’

However, you don’t have to be a huge or well-established company in order to use design, creativity and marketing communications to your advantage. There are many ways in which you can project your company and its products and services into the limelight. For example, social networking continues to play a very important role in online marketing; and it’s easy to see why. With minimal effort you can reach thousands, if not millions of customers, via platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

And, the best thing about social networking? Once you’re set up and have the knowledge to use it to your advantage, the majority of it is free! You can quickly and easily build a profile, add images and get started with your online marketing campaign and specifically targeted advertising. In fact, social networking platforms are so popular that it is now rare for a company to not have a least one online social media profile. So, if you haven’t already joined the online revolution, do it today!

Also consider your current website. Is it up-to-date? Is the imagery still relevant and is the design of a high enough standard for you to stand out from your competitors, provide them with the trust and support they’re looking for? And give your customers the information or product they want as soon as possible? If the answer to any of these questions is no, address them immediately. With millions of websites now online, it can be difficult to get yourself seen – and if your design and messages are unclear, or confusing to the viewer, you’re probably missing out on business.

Finally, ask yourself whether or not you are effectively communicating with your customers; both existing and potential. If you don’t keep up to date with your communications, you may find that your customers start to slip away. A simple newsletter or email can be enough to keep your company in your customers’ mind. If you have any new products or services, or you have an offer, let them know.

Looking for creative ways to promote your business and stand out from your competitors? let’s grab a cup of coffee and see how we can attract new customers...

 

 

 

 

Time to get social

Audit, engage, influence and measure, says Paul WilkinsonAudit, engage, influence and measure, says Paul Wilkinson

With Twitter hashtags and Tweets quoted by broadcasters, the Facebook share-price headline news, bloggers courted by political parties and FTSE-listed companies recruiting via LinkedIn, social media is clearly now part of mainstream communications.

However, some businesses in the architecture, engineering and construction sectors still treat social media with suspicion. Perhaps ‘social’ is seen as non-work, Twitter is trivial, and Facebook eats up time that should be spent on ‘real work’? Whatever the reasons, the reluctant firms could be missing out.

Social media (or Web 2.0) is people having conversations online’. In the construction industry, conversations to ask questions, to listen to feedback, to learn about colleagues, to collaborate on projects, to share news and ideas, to pick up information, to share knowledge, to recommend (and get recommended), to make new contacts….If people are taking these conversations online, organisations that limit interaction may be falling behind competitors.

In the 1990s, corporate websites were little more than ‘electric brochurewear’, conveying company information and inviting an email or telephone response. Web users were passive readers of such websites, and PR and marketing teams talked about integrating communication channels and ‘controlling the message’.

Web 2.0 technologies have become more interactive, broadband and mobile web access is more pervasive, and barriers between companies and end-users have diminished. Today, user-generated content can be published to the web in seconds – by anyone, anywhere, anytime – by individuals asking a question on a discussion forum, sending a Tweet, writing a blog post, commenting on Facebook or Linkedin, uploading a video to YouTube or a photo to Flickr, checking in on Foursquare, or editing a Wikipedia page. And these tools (unlike some corporate websites) are mobile friendly.

Since 2000, numerous tools have been added to the communications toolbox, and old ‘command and control’ communication strategies need to be revised. Trying to stop your people taking about your company on social networks is like trying to stop them talking about you in the pub. Indee, employees and others may already be talking about you, as an online audit of your firm’s social media footprint might reveal. Businessses need to seek to influence that online conversation.

As staff may already be using various social networks, construction businesses should follow the examples set by enlightened organization, including local authorities, the civil service, the BBC and BT, and develop clear guidelines covering appropriate and responsible use of social media.

Some policy content may already be covered in employee handbooks or contracts regarding, for example, use of company IT, safeguarding commercially sensitive information, protecting customer confidentiality and respecting copyright. But organisations might extend their guidelines to clarify how the company name or brand identity is used, appropriate user-names, who takes the leadership on managing particular platforms or types of audience, how to handle negative feedback etc.

Social media can help your business influence existing and potential customers, suppliers, employees, advisors, meida contacts, local residents etc and organisations need to be responsive.

Organisations must be agile and respond quickly, particularly if someone identifies a problem, as unanswered criticism can leave an indelible negative ‘footprint’ on the web.

Creative use of social media to augment traditional communications can yield measurable benefits. However organization that still regard their communications as one-way, one-to-may broadcast will be less likely to hear what’s being said about them and their work – at least, not until it’s probably too late.

Crittall’s communication
An online content for Essesx-based steel window manufacturer Crittall Windows identified unofficial pages on Facebook and LinkedIn, video on YouTube, photos on Flickr, numerous blog posts, inaccurate citations on Wikipedia and specifiers talking about the company’s products on Twitter, Crittall has since broadened its communication strategy to embrace social media and its successes include a £50,000 order from a contact first made via Twitter.

HOK’s strategy
Architect HOK brought together all the bloggers across its international offices, along with in-house users of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, SlideShare and other platforms. Colleagues developed a ‘manifesto’ covering their online engagement to support the business. Through blog posts, technical experts and ‘opinion leaders’ subtly underline HOK’s key strengths, while video, photographs and PowerPoint presentations showcase HOK experience to potential clients. HOK’s social media places are prominently linked from its website (and vice-versa) – recognizing the boost that social media can give to website traffic as part of a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.

Follow @TCIndex on Twitter with 14,000 followers!

The Construction Index Magazine September 2012
http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/

 

 

 

 
11 Tips to help you attract more customers - 1st June 2012

11 Tips to help you attract more customers - 1st June 2012

Many companies are feeling the knock on effect of the recession in recent years. Now, more than ever before, it is vital for companies to attract new business in order to survive in a very harsh financial climate. However, this is not always an easy undertaking; much thought must be put into the correct marketing methods to use in order to achieve the very best results. Following are a few great tips to help you project your company and attract new customers in the process;

  1. Branding
    If you are confident that your existing branding works, keep it consistent – ensure that your branding i.e. any logos and colour schemes that you use are displayed in all of your marketing communications. If you feel that your current branding simply isn’t doing your company justice, you may need to consider a complete branding re-design.

  2. Message
    Your companies message will help you to stand head and shoulders above your competition. Think about the kind of impression and statement that you want your company to make and summarise it in a short message. Use your message frequently to instil trust in your existing customers and encourage new business.

  3. Core Values
    The core values that your company holds can be vital in order for you to retain existing customers and attract new business. Always ensure that your core values are relayed in all of your communications, from memos to customer invoices.

  4. Trust
    Building a solid and reliable reputation can be a lengthy process; however, over time it can literally make or break your company. If you have testimonials from previous customers, use them frequently on your marketing communications and website.

  5. Networking
    Acquiring new contacts is vital to ensure that you are moving your business forward. Keep an eye out for networking opportunities in your local area, get to know people on a one to one basis and gain vital insight by talking to other people who work in your business sector.

  6. Online Socialising
    Do not underestimate the importance of online networking. Social networking platforms can be an invaluable platform for the marketing and relaying of communications for your company – and the best thing? They’re free! Use social networking websites to your advantage.

  7. Website
    A well designed and fully optimised company website is vital in modern times. If you don’t already have a website, get one as soon as possible, but the work doesn’t end there. Badly designed websites with limited functionality can actually do your company more harm than good, so consider your options carefully when you are reviewing potential web design companies.

  8. Marketing
    We are living in an age when leaflets and brochures simply may not be sufficient to promote your business and its services, so think about using alternative marketing techniques. In particular, online marketing has proven to be very successful, so think about creating a company blog or using PPC advertising to attract more customers.

  9. Be Unique
    Now is the time for your company to stand out in the crowd or risk fading into the background. Competition is fierce, so having a unique gimmick or product can make a huge difference to your eventual success.

  10. Change
    Be prepared to embrace change – we are no longer living in an entirely paper-based world. Use the internet wherever possible to promote and grow your business and take onboard any new technologies that you encounter along the way. This may mean that you will have to change the way in which you think about marketing, but over time, this will, quite literally, pay off.

  11. Ongoing Dialogue
    Customer dialogue should not end at the final point of sale – keep in touch with your customers to encourage repeat business. You don’t have to bombard your customers with marketing communications to retain them, but rather think about ways of rewarding them for their ongoing loyalty i.e. think about offering incentives or money back schemes.

 

 

 

 

How does Social Media marketing actually work? - 10th January 2012

How does Social Media marketing actually work? - 10th January 2012You will have heard about Social Media marketing and the impact that it is having on the success of businesses in recent years. However, you may ask the question “How does Social Media marketing actually work?" As a concept, Social Media marketing can be a little confusing, after all, how can a platform that we use to chat to our friends and family on really produce lucrative results for a business? It’s a brilliant question, and perhaps the answer is a little more obvious than we may think.

Social Media as a concept is booming – in a bid to make the world more open and connected, sites such as Facebook have seen a massive surge in users over recent years. Starting as a relatively small project, Facebook alone now has an estimated 250 million users – and this figure is growing every day. Now, if we think about ‘users’ as ‘potential customers’, that’s a staggering amount of prospects just waiting to be reached, even after demographics and other specifications have been applied to narrow down users to a audience tailored to your exact product or service.

And that’s what Social Media is all about – making your company more visible to a wider audience, it allows you to reach potential customers and provides a platform for them to find you. So, does Social Media marketing work? – the answer has to be a definite yes, with the right profile and great techniques it is possible to effectively market your company using new Social Media marketing technologies and see your profits soar as a result.

 

 

 

 
Do my customers look for me online? - 15th December 2011

Do my customers look for me online? - 15th December 2011

There’s no doubt that marketing technologies have evolved rapidly in recent years. Brand, service and product promotion via company websites, blogs, social media sites and other online platforms has become an increasingly popular option, as companies embrace new technologies to find their customers, and perhaps more importantly, to allow their customers to find them amongst the competition.

Despite this, many marketing professionals will tell you that they often hear the same statement from their customers - “I'm not sure that my customers will be looking for me online?” It’s certainly a great question – after all, many companies may not understand the importance of having a company website at all, let alone the need to implement other online marketing methods - especially in a very tough financial climate.

However, the many surveys and studies undertaken in recent years would strongly indicate that online marketing really does work. As a collective, we are using online technologies more and more – websites, once the domain of larger companies alone, are now expected as standard for companies, regardless of their size.

Additionally, a growing number of companies have successfully implemented marketing strategies via social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn – and with a huge collective audience to target – it certainly makes good sense. So, do customers actually look for companies online? - the answer would seem to be a definite yes.

Certainly, many factors are involved, perhaps convenience being a key reason, but one thing is for sure, online marketing looks set to remain a popular and profitable option for companies for many years to come.

 

 

 

 

Social Media Trainer Zooms into Action! - 27th October 2011

Pam Neaves - entrepreneur, designer, trainer and owner at Sutton-based Mint Creative Solutions recently won a competition on Facebook to drive an MX5 GT Brit Car replica at Silverstone. Having already registered herself as a fan of the 'Experience Mazda' page on Facebook, Pam entered the amazing car competition and became the lucky winner of an exceptional driving experience at Silverstone on 23rd October 2011.

Social media training west midlandsFollowing an exciting confirmation email from Christophe Castagnéra, the Account Director at Mazda – Pam found herself taking on the Silverstone track at full speed this weekend!

Twitter training for business west midlandsSocial media training west midlandsOnline competitions are proving to be a very popular online marketing activity on social networking sites – and as Pam’s recent experience would suggest, they can be a great way to reach out to potential customers.

Continuing on the motor sports theme – Pam also recently trained the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club - providing them with a tailored social media session, outlining how Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and Blogs could significantly increase their member numbers and drive more traffic to their website. In fact, more and more companies are considering social networking for their marketing requirements in recent times – and, let’s face it, Facebook currently has in excess of 800 million active users across the globe – now that’s a huge target audience!

Twitter training for business west midlandsSocial media training west midlands

Mint Creative Solutions, who also celebrate their 8th birthday this month, have a clear mission statement – they want to help companies to attract more business and keep on growing! Social media marketing can be a complex process and that’s where Pam and her team can help. If you’re ready to put your company on the ‘fast track’ – get in touch with Pam at Mint Creative Solutions today on 07977 929 690 to have a chat about your requirements.

 

Social Media Trainer Zooms into Action! - 27th October 2011

 

 

 

 

Angels in Business Networking Event - 2nd November 2011

Angels in Business Networking Event - 2nd November 2011

After the success of the Angles in Business launch event in June 2010. The four West Midland business women joined together once again on Wednesday 2nd November 2011 to offer budding entrepreneurs advice and guidance to begin their journey on the road to riches. Pam Neaves, Clare Whalley, Esther Woolley of Sutton Coldfield and Sharon Louca of Tamworth shared their experiences and encouraged others to follow in their footsteps. Once again the event was a huge success with a great positive vibe in the room and lots of useful business tips given to eager business start-ups.

Angels in Business Networking Event - 2nd November 2011

 

 

 

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If you're looking for ideas to attract more profitable clients? Then we'd love to hear from you too, to speak to a human call now on 07977 929 690

 

mint impress

Click on the following links to download our Press Releases:

Mint Creative on the radio show 'Mornings with Joanne Malin' on BBC WM, 95.6FM
weekdays between 09.30-12. 3 June 2010 Click here to listen

Meet the Business Guardian Angels - The Birmingham Post May 2010

Is this the way to Amaryllis, Tony? - The Birmingham Press 7 May 2010

Tips to Survive in Tough Times - Sutton Observer 9 October 2009

Creative Event with The Birmingham Civic Society - Birmingham Post 1 October 2009

Pam gets creative to beat the crunch - Sutton News 13 March 2009

Doing Business at Breakfast - Sutton Observer 13 February 2009

The big breakfast - The Journal 15 January 2008

Breath of fresh air from Mint - Express & Star 23 February 2004