maine

New Site Launch: Camel Brook Camps

It’s always interesting working for people you grew up with. Mr. Leblanc (as I used to call him) was our industrial arts teacher in school. I worked as a lifeguard with their daughter. They have known me a long time and live in the beautiful town of Fort Kent, Maine, where I grew up and where most of my family still lives.

Camel Brook Camps responsive website layout.So when Anne and Jean contacted us for a website for their rental business Camel Brook Camps, I was excited to prove that Nicole had grown up… and wasn’t going to going to be known as the only industrial arts accident of the year (true story, I drill pressed part of my finger, though that was not on Mr. Leblanc’s watch, he had gone onto other things by the time I took his class).

Alice created a responsive template that felt outdoorsy but sophisticated. Well, she created two (we always do that) and they picked their favorite which we tweaked until it was what they wanted.

Now with each design we want things to look different. In this case, Alice worked with the wood background (we normally do solid backgrounds) and created a way to highlight the business name with it.

camelbrookcampsmobileWith responsive design, the website adjusts to the screensize its on, meaning it looks great not only for those visiting on a computer but a tablet or mobile phone as well.

Camel Brook Camps has several cabins to rent but we wanted to intersperse photos of the area. We contacted Brent Stroliker Photography who had some great multi-season shots of the area. We negotiated a rate for the photos to be able to use them in the slideshow on the homepage and on various pages of the site.

While I’d love to be able to do (and be good at everything) myself, it’s important to be able to pair with professionals and be able to help each other out. I think you can also see how photographs people have of their businesses mixed in with professional photographs gives a clean inviting look. (Very important to use photos with permission as we did!)

So what else did we do in creating this site?

  • Created separate inquiry forms for each of the four camps
  • Kept their guest book entries and allowed new ones to be created
  • Installed a weather widget that automatically updates with the day’s conditions
  • Made sure there was a way to access ‘Camps and Rates’ on every page
  • Put the phone number in the footer on every page
  • Created how-to update documents complete with screenshots to be able to give Anne and Jean so they officially don’t need us (unless they want us of course)

Anne and Jean didn’t need the world’s fanciest website; they just needed something visually appealing, information rich, and user friendly in a platform they could easily update as they take new photos or change prices.

In case you were wondering, here’s the before picture of the site:

cbcbefore

So whether you love this design or not, I think we can all agree this is a definite improvement!

We thank the LeBlancs for letting us work on their site and here’s hoping they get lots of new business from it.

 

Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she’s not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

Marketing Monday: Betsy Thompson On Flickr

I got on Flickr about a year ago and didn’t think a lot about it. I upload pictures there of my mini-adventures. I used to put them on Facebook but I figure this way, I can just connect them to my Facebook account and people like my mom can see them without having accounts.

I was at the Chapter Two Gallery in Corea when I saw one of Betsy Thompson’s mixed media collages. They’re really fun and lively so I took one of the cards she had on hand there. (I see she’s restricted use of her images which is why I’m not putting one on this blog. I’ve put the link below though in case you want to check them out).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/urchinmama/

Now if you’re an artist looking for how to market your work, I think Betsy does a good job of showing her stuff and really using Flickr to keep in touch with her audience. She not only puts up her work for sale but photos from her life and recently a collection she did for Anthropologie.

Flickr allows not only a nice format to display photos (like the white wall of a gallery really) but allows the uploading of multiple images and video at a time (and you can even mass-tag images, which helps them come up in searches). With a Pro account ($20/year), you can also get some stats and additional upload space. A nice tool that I am only beginning to use to it’s full potential but it’s clear people like Betsy figured this out long ago.

If you are a business or non-profit that hasn’t checked out Flickr, I’d do a search for your company, yourself, or even your geographic area and see what comes up. And if you see a photo you like, contact the photographer and let them know. You never know what may come of it!

Anyone else using Flickr and enjoying it? If so, please find me! I need some friends…

Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she’s not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

Marketing Monday: Nervous Nellies

Every Monday is a preview of a company, person, or website doing something cool in terms of marketing. Have an idea? Let me know!

Nervous Nellies Enterance

The Nervous Nellies entrance let's you know you're about to do more than just buy jam.

Stonington Buy Local Campaign

Stonington's 'buy local' campaign is really nice. I saw it coming onto the island on a roadsign and liked how it was both positive and empowering.

I met Anne Beerits at Nervous Nellies Jams and Jellies when she was one of my first real clients. She was so nice and fun to work with and I told her if I was ever in Deer Isle, I’d stop by her shop.

When I was in town over the weekend, I stopped by her place. “See why I have such a hard time marketing this place?” she said. And I had enough material for about 100 blog posts just based on what I saw. Great products, a buy local campaign, an integration of art and product (Anne’s husband Peter Beerits is a sculpture), and a historical tribute to Deer Isle-Stonington (relics from Hardy’s, a local gas station, was saved by Peter and Anne and are displayed in the village/sculpture garden).

Anne is in the process of redeveloping their website but I think a place like this with a following (over 10,000 on her email list and decent foot traffic since at least 10 people came while I was visiting on a fall Sunday morning) is bound to succeed, online and off.

And because pictures say a lot, here’s a visual tour of Nervous Nellies in Deer Isle, Maine:

[nggallery id=1]

Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she’s not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

Marketing Monday: Tom’s Terrific Tattoos

Every Monday, Breaking Even looks at a person, company, or website doing something cool to promote itself online. Have an idea for a future Marketing Monday? Let Nicole know!

I recently went with a friend to Tom’s Terrific Tattoos, located in Ellsworth Maine. I’ve long seen the bumper stickers on people’s cars. I feel like I even heard about the place before moving to Downeast Maine, probably because the name is so memorable.

When one of my friends wanted me to go with her to get her tattoo, I jumped at the chance to finally see the inside of TTT’s.

Being memorable, especially in the creative industry, really pays off.

Have a memorable name.
If you are thinking of naming a business or rebranding a part of your business, a memorable name can help people keep you in mind when they are ready to make a purchase.

Give away free stuff with your memorable business name on it.
I noticed on the counter, Tom had bumper stickers and business cards with the business name on it. Also, he give my friend a ‘goodie bag’ which included one of the bumper stickers as well as care supplies for the tattoo.

A variety of promotional materials are available on the counter at Tom's Terrific Tattoos. A side effect of making your business name fun: people will want to promote it.

Have a website with examples of your work.
Tom has a fairly basic website with examples of his work. If I was shopping for a tattoo place, I’d want one with a website, if only because I would feel a business with a website is more established. Is this important when I’m considering someone putting a needle into my body? Absolutely. Is it important to other people? I can’t say for sure but probably.

+ Read More

Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she’s not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

This Week In Business: Hometown Holidays Edition

Happy Holidays! This is always a fun time of year where books are closing, final bills are going out, and businesses (and individuals come to think of it) are otherwise getting ready to begin again with a clean slate.
Here’s what’s been going on the last two weeks:
I am starting to draw a salary on January 1.
Since the official full time start of my business in May up until this moment, I have been living entirely on savings and income from my part time jobs (the inn this summer and very sporadic French tutoring in the present). I’ve been putting all business money into a business account (DBA) and using this account only on occasion to buy things for my business like web hosting or a new printer.

+ Read More

Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she’s not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.

This Week In Business: Pitch Session Edition

To many, I am known for my charm and my habit of procrastination, no more so by my sometimes copy editor/ oftentimes friend John.

I posted on Facebook that I was looking for a few sets of eyes to look at a one page pitch I was going to present this coming weekend.

“When’s it due?” he asked.

“Tomorrow,” I said. I added a little wink, you know, for charm.

He proceeded to tell me I should be more on top of this kind of stuff and that’s when I told him I had decided to go to this pitch session the day before.

Another exciting week at Breaking Even Communications!

A creative economy conference in Camden where I could get some funding for my business? Yes, please!

I will be presenting my ‘pitch’ at the Juice Conference for a chance at $25,000 in funding.
Would a little capital make me sleep easier at night? Definitely!

But just as important as winning the grand prize would be to get the opportunity to present in front of funders and get some feedback on my business. (OK, it might rock a little more to win, but still…) According to the email information I got, there are about 40 participants. Gulp. Here’s me getting my game on for Friday.

+ Read More

Nicole runs Breaking Even Communications, an internet marketing company in Bar Harbor Maine. When she’s not online, she enjoys walking her short dog, cooking with bacon, and trying to be outdoorsy in Acadia National Park.