What is the difference between a dye lot sample and a stock cutting?
In the UK those phrases are taken to mean the same thing. But that is not universally true so I will explain.
When you as an interior designer are about to place an order you need to get a cutting which you keep in your records stating exactly what colour the fabric will be. So you need a cutting from the exact roll of fabric which is going to be cut for you by the supplier. Once you have a this “dye lot sample” or “stock cutting” the onus is then on the supplier to supply you with the exact fabric.
Is this always important?
This is particularly important as the colour of many fabrics vary slightly between different batches of production. This is common across all suppliers.
Usually, however, it will not matter if your ENTIRE order comes from a roll that was different from the original sampling. The difference will be trivial and not noticed.
But if you are being supplied with more than one piece then it often DOES matter. The different rolls of fabric when made-up side-by-side can be noticeably different.
Sometimes even if the fabrics are different; the way they are made up, the lighting or where they are in a room can make the difference not noticeable.
Various technical reasons explain all of this, such as the variability of colour in man-made dyes, however designers need only know that it can and often does happen that fabrics vary slightly in their colour.
If in doubt obtain a dye lot sample/stock cutting.
Once you have set up your Facebook (FB) Fan Page for your business so that it looks and feels ‘right ‘ then it’s time to take it to the next level. So if you are at that point, read on. If not go <here>.
Note: Before you start make sure you will be working on your business page (fan page) and not your personal page. You really should be using a business page (fan page), be sure what one is before continuing as lots of people go down the wrong route and then have to start all over again, FB is not very forgiving in that respect.
OK I’m going to look at Branding, Promoting, Enhanced Navigation & Content. These are the main areas to add a bit of spice to your FB Fan Page/Business Page.
a. You need a 200 pixels wide x 600 pixels high image of your brand. Maybe you have a logo, if so use that. Upload this to the area to the left of where it says “Wall”.
b. Header. This goes above where it says “Wall”. Change the text here so that it has your company name. What if you get the name wrong? Well if you get the name wrong you cannot change it, so you have to delete the page and start again (as at Feb 2010). So please get it right first time.
c. The same applies to the category of your page, that cannot be changed either. So when you create your page get the category right.
d. If your company is called XYZDesigns then you need http://facebook.com/XYZDesigns as your url. This article <here> tells you how to do that.
a. You probably already understand groups on LinkedIn. Well Facebook (FB) has them as well. Start one or use existing ones like Interior Design Lovers (requires you to be logged in to FB). Promote your page in groups. BUT DO NOT SELL, SELL, SELL. Let people know about the information your FB page will provide them with. Remember further that few people are interested in your business per se, they are more interested in what it can do for them. So talk about solving problems and NOT saying how great you/your services are. The sell-sell way does not usually work.
b. User comments. Engage with your fans, reply to them. Promote yourself to these people and remember that they are already on your page and are taking the time to write something, probably to find out something, so they have more than a passing interest in what you do. Again soft-sell not a hard sell. Try to help them.
c. Facebook Advertising.
You may have tried Google AdWords advertising or the Yahoo and Microsoft equivalents (they are each very similar to one another). Maybe they have worked for you, maybe not. Facebook also allows you to advertise your services. They take a slightly different approach to the other 3 by targeting the FB user base. I particularly like how you can be much more specific about the region and demographics of the person you are targeting; FB also tell you how many people are in the demographics you specify. Worth a look especially for Interior Designers who are targeting the general public rather than other businesses. I will not go into this area in any more depth yet as it really comes under ‘advertising’ rather than building a better FB page for your business.
d. Make sure the information about your business on the left-hand side really stands out. Get some good, engaging and genuine words about your company there.
3. ENHANCED NAVIGATION
a. You can administer your FB business page (fan page) <here>. You need to be an administrator of your business fan page.
b. Go to the wall. At the top of the left-hand column you will see ‘edit page’. Go there and then choose “Wall Settings: Edit”. Change the default view to the correct page that you want a user to land on, could be your wall, could be your info page. This can be changed later if you make a mistake.
This is what will make people come back to your site. It’s really, really important! So you will need to have some new ‘stuff’ on your FB page to make it worth their while to return. That ‘stuff’ could be new videos, articles or whatever. it could also be the content of communication and engagement with like-minded design professionals working together to solve problems online…
The most obvious route is through your blog. You can display your blog as the ‘wall’ for your business page. You have a few options for example:
Write your blog (the original content) in FB and post it everywhere else automatically from FB. You can even write your blog by accessing Facebook from your blackberry.
Get your external blog synchronised into FB automatically (I use a free FB application called Social RSS and my blog is on WordPress)
I prefer the second approach as WordPress also automatically publishes my blog posts to other sources such as Twitter. Apparently there is a FB Fan Page-to-Twitter application but I do not use that, sorry!
Encourage your fans to add content (photos, etc.). That makes your job easier and makes your site content-rich for others.
Really, I’m not interested in what you had for breakfast, nor what the weather is. If you want to be followed by people who are not decision makers then ‘your breakfast’ or ‘which train you are currently on’ is a great thing to Tweet about. But that’s not what you want is it?
1. Automatically Tweet your blog posts once a week – that’s a great way to start. If you use a WordPress hosted blog (like this one) it’s just a case of ticking a box and you are done.
2. Every day just go through your suppliers. As a designer you have lots of them. Tweet a compliment about a DESIGN RELATED supplier &/or one of their products/services.
3. Maybe tweet a promotion
4. Tweets are eventually deleted from the net. So you don’t have to worry about keywords too much. If you are writing a blog post then that post will be permanent and the keywords in it are important. So with your Tweets just keep it simple, interesting and professional. Think “interesting narrative”.
But would you…
5. Tweet about your competitors? Sure if you want to help publicize their work (??) and sure if they reciprocate and Tweet back.