Women often struggle with the choice between earning a steady paycheck outside the home or finding a way to stay with their children and make money where they live. Jill Crawford stood at that bridge of life. She took a long look at the where she could fall and decided to take the proverbial leap of faith.
It was scary and uncertain, Crawford said, to go from being a corporate graphic designer to launching Crawford Designs, LLC, in 2006. "It's definitely not easy, a huge commitment to go out on your own and start a business from scratch," said Crawford. "I can say I have no regrets. I love it."
A natural artist from the time she finger painted as a child, Crawford now operates a thriving website design business from her dining room table. Instead of a view of York from the Caskey Group office building, Jill gazes out on the vast farmland between Gettysburg and New Oxford that was originally her grandparents'.
Crawford's website portfolio, available by logging on to www.crawforddesignsllc.com, is considerable - Conewago Valley School District, H.A.R.T Center, Codori Memorials, Immaculate Conception School, McIlhenny Banners, Irishtown Fire Company and many more.
..."I remember being in art school (Bradley Academy), and we were asked to write a time capsule of where we saw ourselves in 15 years. I wanted to be married, have two kids and my own business. It can happen if you want it badly enough."
Brian and Jill Crawford built a home on the family farmland of William and Annie Orendorff where Jill grew up, the daughter of Patrick and Janet Staub. A graduate of Delone Catholic, Jill not only conducts daily business from home, she manages typical, traditional household responsibilities and raises Brock, 13, and Hannah, 11, with Brian, who works at Krosaki Magnesita Refractories in York.
..."This industry is very feast or famine. There are times when it is very stressful. I'm a deadline-oriented person, which really helps. I get twice as much done here on my own than I ever did at any company. I know how to manage what needs to be done. If you set a daily plan and follow it, you will be OK."
Full Article available here.
Original Article Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2013
By Ken Picking For the Gettysburg Times
We can help! Contact us today for a FREE consultation. We will explain more about websites, blogs, and email newsletters, and what they can do for your business.
3 Simple Tips for Your Website:
The easiest way to increase your Google rankings is to increase the size of your website. That's the reason why Wikipedia ranks #1 on Google for so many keywords.
The simplest way to increase the size of your website is to add a blog and post to it as frequently as possible. The more frequently you can post, the faster you will see an increase in rankings and traffic.
Focus on producing the highest quality articles you can for your blog. Educate, inform and entertain... don't sell! Adding value (instead of selling) will result in more links to your website and higher SEO rankings.
From sketching to jotting down ideas to just simply color picking to a complete prototype we have covered them all. So enjoy and share with your family and friends.
We always appreciate the kind words, and the referrals!
We've built a business on that philosophy... and look forward to meeting many more individuals and businesses who are looking for an online presence with a company they can trust.
Do you need a Website ReBuild?
Ask yourself these questions:
Facebook has turned out to be a phenomenon of sorts. With an incredible size of 300+ million active users, Facebook is one of the epicentres of social networking. You probably know that and already have a Facebook profile to keep in touch with friends and family. What about your business, then? Have you tried your hand at Facebook yet to boost up your business? If you own a small business or are planning to start one soon, a Facebook Page is the perfect springboard to make your business known to the abounding millions. How to go about it? Keep reading!
A Facebook Page is fundamentally different from your Facebook Profile. Your business needs a fan page that tells the audience about the company, its latest ventures, web and contact info, blog posts, Twitter updates, press releases, and much more. The major advantage of such a page is that you already have a huge audience base ready; you just have to post something that attracts them. Additionally, it’s possible for even a novice to maintain their Facebook page, whereas a personal webpage requires a bit of expertise. Crawford Designs can establish your facebook business page, and show you how to easily update it.
Remember that Google Search gives a lot of respect to Facebook profiles and business pages; so the more details that are entered for your business, the better. We won’t forget to include company logos, RSS blog feeds and relevant multimedia.
Promote your page. Create a list of profiles or business connections that might benefit from your company and send them invites to join you. Remember that they are looking for benefits from the association; so tell them what exactly is in there for them. We also spread the word about your Facebook Page (with the link) on Twitter, your blogs, through email notifications, business cards, and so on.
Make it interesting. None likes business all the time; post crazy stuff and lure the Facebook audience into reaching out to you. Post polls such as “How can we improve?” or “What’s your favorite?” Let them know that you want to keep it fresh and exciting.
Keep evolving. Your Facebook fans need their dose of the new and the amazing from you every now and then to retain their interest in you. Dedicate a few hours of your busy schedule in updating your page. Trust us; it’ll pay you rich dividends. Contact us today and we'll show you how to get your business page started!
Don't "Build Your Own Website"
Think Again Before Deciding to Build Your Own Website...
Many existing businesses have started offering free web-building tools. Sounds great, right? Such tools enable you to build your website and go online within a short time. Although you might think this is a brilliant service, it isn’t.
You will find that the tools offered by such sites are simple enough to understand and use. However, most of them are not as useful as they promise to be. Some of the tools exclude most of the important aspects related to good website design, such as an artistic approach, sense of aesthetics, and use of SEO keywords and metatags.
Most websites that offer such services are full of ambiguity and lack any focal point or strong message. As you must have observed, colors and fonts are crucial to the fate of a website. A proper combination of colors and artistically selected typestyles and design convey subconscious messages to visitors and prompt them to remain on the site till they have seen it all and more significantly, to return. Some color schemes when used in combination with certain fonts convey the messages of reliability and trust.
Most tools that such sites offer are very generic and part of basic templates, which say nothing about your business. Some sites even put default advertising on your website, which is similar to wearing a tattoo you know nothing about. Another important aspect is the layout. The manner in which all elements within a webpage are put together and function evokes a subconscious response from the visitor. We have all landed upon websites that don’t ‘seem right’, and have therefore abandoned the idea of doing business with them.
Web marketing and conveyance of messages are considered carefully by professional web designers. To-the-point yet unambiguous content and well-coordinated elements on a page attract visitor’s attention. Search Engine Optimization is a crucial factor in turning your web business into a success. This professional touch, that differentiates your website from other sites in terms of search rankings, is a field of expertise for professional website designers.
Let the professionals construct your website. Such designers are generally quite affordable and the product they generate is worth every cent spent on it in terms of value addition to business.
The first impression is always the last impression, and you need to make sure that your client returns to your site after the first visit. A really good impression may even prompt social sharing, and your visitors will tell a friend or two about you. If you are looking for a few personal pages, choose a free blog rather than a website. Unlike blogs, websites require rigorous HTML formatting, which is entirely the professional web designer’s field of expertise. So, think again before you decide and choose a professional designer to build your site, just as you would prefer hiring a contractor rather than taking on the task of building your own home.
The biggest benefit of internet marketing is that it allows you to market your products or services to the widest range of targeted demographics regardless of their nationality, age, interests or gender... But 'global' marketing may not be the best strategy for your business. Here are a few reasons that may convince you that local online marketing is the best strategy for a small business.
Reasons to adopt local internet marketing strategy:
Facebook is unarguably the biggest player on the social media scene. Having a Facebook fan page is becoming more of a necessity than an option. It is best to take help of an expert, for instance a PA web site design professional, if you are based in Pennsylvania, to develop your Facebook page.
Many businesses prefer to direct traffic to their Facebook fan pages rather than their websites as these pages are greatly interactive. With popular search engines like Google indexing Facebook business pages, their reach has widened manifolds. Apart from over 600 million active Facebook users, anyone looking for your brand on Google can access your Facebook page. But not all Facebook pages are successful in developing a large engaged fan following. Here are some of the characteristics that make Facebook fan pages successful.
Target the Proper Demographic
It is essential to assess Facebook demographics and its usefulness for your business. If you target businesses, you are likely to have limited success on Facebook. Facebook pages are likely to be most beneficial for brands that target college kids.
But Facebook demographic is constantly changing as college kids segment matures and more people from older age groups join. Your Facebook strategy needs to be developed keeping these changing demographics in mind.
Offer Value to Target Audience
Your Facebook fan page should offer some value. This is essential to attract fans and to keep them coming back to the page regularly. You can offer exclusive deals and new product updates. Based on your social strategy, you can develop your page as a connection hub or a resource portal for your target audience.
Organize Activities that Help in Building a Large Community
Organizing contests in which potential customers can take part is a great way to build a large community. It is the best way to offer value, if you do not want to develop your page as a resource portal. Contests with attractive prizes and coupons are effective tools for attracting potential customers to join.
Integrate All Online Marketing Platforms
Social media as a standalone activity cannot be successful. It has to be integrated with your overall online marketing mix. For example, if you include a link to your Facebook fan page on your website, your website traffic can be directed to your Facebook page. Similarly, you can ask your web site design professional to include links to your website and blog on your Facebook page.