3

May

Have a brand new product or project that you think the world desperately needs? Don’t have the funding or investment to pull it off? You could find what you need on Kickstarter.

No it’s not a money lender or a bank. Kickstarter is the world’s largest online funding platform for creative projects. Basically if a user likes your idea they pledge money towards it. In return, if your project comes into fruition you thank your backers with rewards.

Okay so here is how it works. A user will create a page on the kickstarter website for their project. They decide what their project’s funding goal will be(may be $500 or $500,000) and the deadline to which they need the funding by. The project page will then go live on kickstarter.com. People visiting the website can view the project and if they like it, they can pledge money towards it. Any money pledged towards a project will not be taken from the backers account unless the project meets it funding goal before the deadline.

The project creator will set rewards for different pledge amounts. As an example, Katrina, the Mojito Solution’s Director has just created the world’s best coffee (Mojito Coffee…maybe one day). She sets a target of $300,000 to manufacture and distribute it and a deadline for 2 months. She then sets rewards for different pledge amounts. A $5 pledge will get you a thank-you card. A $25 pledge will get you a bag of coffee. A $50 pledge will get you two bags of coffee and so on. Basically you are selling your product before you have even created it. In this way Kickstarter is a great way to test the market. You can see if what you believe is a great idea is going to be supported by others.

Since its beginning in 2009, Kickstarter has funded more than 20,000 projects and raised more than $200 million towards those projects. This project raised 8000% more than it needed.

We think it’s a pretty cool idea, and who knows maybe one day we will create the world’s best coffee. If we did you would back it, wouldn’t you?

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4

Apr

Updated your business’ Facebook page recently? Noticed anything different? Well if you have you would know that on March 30th 2012 Facebook rolled out a compulsory change over to all business pages to the new layout; Facebook Timeline.

Ultimately the change means that the way that your business information is displayed is different, and it makes it easier for fans of your page to view the history of your business. Facebook shifted to Timeline in an attempt to help small businesses, like yours, to engage with their customers easier and build better relationships with them. It encourages business to share and put a face behind the logo or shop front.

Features of Facebook Timeline include:

  1. The Cover Photo – this photo is visible to everyone and is a great way to introduce your brand and highlight what it is you do
  2. Milestones – when you add an update you can set it as a milestone. Milestones cover the full width of the page and are used to highlight important happenings in your business. An example may be “Grand Opening”.
  3. Pinning a story – you can pin a new post to the top of your page each week so people notice what’s important. This will stay at the top of your page for seven days. This is a great spot to advertise a week long special or recent news!

Sound good to you? It is! Although you should be aware that there are some rules in regards to your COVER photo. Cover Photo’s may not include:

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s ‘About’ section.
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”

So if you have been neglecting your business’ Facebook, or don’t have one yet, jump on and see what’s changed. It’s easy to update or start one from scratch.

If you are looking for some inspiration, what could be more inspiring than our page. Check it out here: Mojito Solutions Facebook

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14

Mar

WARNING: You are about to read a shameful plug and blatant advertisement for our upcoming workshops. These workshops will be filled with valuable education that is going to benefit you and your business and the way in which you develop customer relationships and continue to interact with your customers.

Interested? Read on… .

At Mojito we are all about the continued education and training of our clients. Since the beginning we have run workshops on a range of different topics like email marketing, images on the web and the use of social media. In 2012 we decided it was time for a change so we cut the class sizes, brought the party to the office and added sandwiches. Yep, sandwiches. Mojito Catering? Who knows….

So far we have received great feedback from our intimate little classes, as due to the class size our ‘students’ are able to fully partipate while we teach. So I hope you want to get your hands dirty!

Our next workshop is going to be on Email Marketing and will be held as a half day on Saturday the 24th of March – light lunch and a workbook is included.

We will also be holding a 2 hour workshop about Editing Videos for the Web on Wednesday April 4th at 5:30pm.

So if you wish to sign up, or want some more information Contact Us today.

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7

Mar

Providing your online audiences with clear and professional photographs is a vital step in improving your online business. If you’re selling your products online or show casing your services, nothing beats tantalizing your products online and captivating potential clients with beautiful images.

Since your potential and current clients can’t physically touch or see your products online, having a well-lit and clear photograph can best represent your products / services. Follow these tips below to help avoid this!

EQUIPMENT

You don’t need to have the latest camera equipment shipped straight from Japan to have great looking images. Understanding your camera’s settings and functions can really make the difference between a sharp and out of focused shot. An overexposed or a well balanced lit shot. Put some time and work into your shots, don’t be afraid to research. Hiring a professional is an option if you want consistency and avoiding the fuss!

LIGHTING

Nothing looks worse than having a poorly lit photograph. Often details become lost and colours are not true to their representation. Understanding how to use flash can really knock this problem. Learn how to bounce and diffuse light. Alternatively you can use sunlight and diffuse the light with a white cloth to soften the shadow transition of your products. Have a quick Google search on photography tips and techniques depending on your equipment.

KEEP IT SIMPLE, SILLY!

Get your product in a position that showcases itself and the usage. Avoid visual distractions that have nothing to do with the product or service. The photograph itself should be able to sell itself without words attached. Photographing it on a basic background such as white seamless or clutter free environments puts the focus on your product!

GO FAR, GET CLOSE

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different angles and perspectives. Give some macro settings a go and get real close up on the product’s detail. Have a wide perspective shot of the product as a whole to really emphasize what it looks like. Experiment!

These are just some tips that will help you along with your online products / services and represent them in the best light possible. Photography is a crucial component that builds your company’s brand and image.

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29

Feb

Businesses and clients who have their photographs professionally taken improves their creditability and enhances their brand image overall. To the everyday people, it might seem like point and *click*! But from pre to postproduction, taking staff photograph requires preparation, a creative eye and basic knowledge of your camera setting.

A website that showcases their staff through professional photographs creates a positive connection between its viewer and to the company’s brand. A nicely lit smile in an image adds a face to the company and shares that feeling of warmth and cookies to your potential and current clients. Inversely, a poorly taken shot can leave a bad taste of cold coffee in the mouth of your company’s audience. Yuck!

Don’t worry! Preplanning your shot can avoid this catastrophe. Here’s a few tips on creating that nicely polish photograph for your next staff photo shoot! Horrah!

PREPARATION

Before you bake a cake, you gather all the ingredients and utensils right? The same applies for your camera equipment. Make sure your camera is recharged, memory card ready, tripod, flash equipped and your positive thinking cap on! Always have extra batteries and cards in case Murphy’s Law happens to pay you a visit.

DISCUSS

It’s a great idea to discuss to your client what they’re looking for, how they want to be represented and what attitude the want people to see them. From then you can style the photograph based on their image branding. Ask them to show examples of photographs on how they’d like to see themselves and how to represent the company. Are they a chilled-taking-it-easy kind of workplace, or is it high-end corporate that illuminates the brand?

LOCATION

Possibly one of the most important aspects to the photograph is the location. Will it be in studio or outdoor? At the local beach? Understand what the client wants and work from there. Have a walk around their office, any great shutter spots? Always focus on the subject and background, do you think it looks too distracting?

CAMERA SETTINGS

Learning the basics and understanding your camera’s Aperture, Shutter speed, ISO are very crucial. Here’s some tips for each setting;

Aperture (Also know as f-stop) – This beautiful setting determines how much light is gathered into the camera and how much of your subject in focus. For corporate photographs, you want the focus on the person’s face and the background to be less distracting. Having it set on somewhere near f/4 or f/5.6 can keep your subject in focus whilst the background out-of-focus.

Shutter Speed – Exactly how it sounds, it dictates long the shutter stays open. You want to make sure all aspect of the subject to be crisp and still, a fast shutter captures the image perfectly still whilst inversely a long shutter shows motion and loses detail in the photograph. Stick around 1/250 to 1/160 depending on your lighting and set up.

ISO – Indicates the sensitivity of light. Having your ISO locked up to 1000 ISO or more can sometimes create unwanted noise which degrades the quality of the image. Having this setting below 800 ISO can help avoid this depending on the quality of your camera.

SUBJECT

Often you’ll be dealing with people who are often awkward and shy in front of the camera. Comfort them by having a small introduction and a chit chat, ask how’s their day been and just channel some positive energy if they are stiff as a carrot. Always throw some positive messages like “you look gorgeous”, “wow, really like your smile in that shot” throughout the shoot. Always keep it positive!

Also avoid sending negative comments; they’ll become harder to soften in front of the photo and often their facial become forced and unnatural. Rather telling them what they are doing wrong, suggest different movements and improves to resolve the situation.

CAPTURE THE MOMENT

Having yourself set up prepared and working naturally with your clients will contribute to capturing more professional standard photograph. Constantly engage with them and actively keep a look out of their pose, facial expressions and environment. Keeping a constant eye out will help prevent any unwanted mid facial expressions and awkward blinking.

From these tips build a photographic workflow and keep it positive and professional. Keep researching online and get a fair understanding the style and standard of corporate images. In no time, you’ll be more confident and shooting for the top companies of the world. Remember, preparation and positive thinking!

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22

Feb

One of the keys to success of any small business is to keep in regular contact with its customers. At Mojito we’ve found that Email Marketing is a great way to keep in contact and build customer relationships.

Email Marketing can help promote your new and existing products and services, create hype amongst your customers, increase brand loyalty and even lead to sales… Cha-Ching!!!

But it’s not all about dollars and cents. Campaigns can help create community awareness about your business. This can be achieved through emails highlighting news about your business, or even any charity or community work that the business is involved in. This type of campaign helps to build community support for your business and in-turn keep your business at the top of consumer’s minds.

To help get you started with your new Email Marketing campaign, we are offering you half price on our Managed Email Marketing Package. The Email Marketing Package includes:

  • 1 newsletter per month for 6 months
  • Development of an email marketing strategy
  • Design of your newsletter template
  • Content written for all of the newsletters
  • One photo shoot with our in-house photographer

So if better relationships and potential sales sound good to you, then contact us at Mojito Solutions for more information.

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9

Feb

A website can be an extremely valuable asset for any kind of business. In today’s fast paced, iPhone using, phonebook burning society the World Wide Web is for many a significant source of information. Because smart phones are a portable platform that can be used virtually anywhere it makes sense to not only have a website, but to have a website that is compatible with these devices.

Not a month ago I needed to find a local mechanic. The phonebook didn’t even cross my mind as I typed ‘Townsville Mechanics’ into my smart phone. I chose the first mechanic I found with a decent looking website and clear contact details and I was away. In the same day I needed to find car parts for the tin can I call a car. Once again I jumped on my phone and Googled ‘spare Toyota parts Townsville’.

With the unprecedented rise in the popularity of smart phones and tablet devices in recent years you would have to be an April fool to buy a website that didn’t work on these devices. And its only FEBRUARY! A small business without a compatible website may be missing out on potential customers, especially those generation y’ers with their smart phones and their weird haircuts.

So if you want a website that is going to stay young, fresh and wrinkle free contact us at Mojito Solutions today.

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31

Jan

Ever thrown your computer out of the window in frustration because you don’t know enough about your website and other internet stuff? No I haven’t either but you can imagine it can’t you. Maybe you’ve even dreamed about it. Well never fear, Mojito’s awesomely informative workshops are here!

After sold out and successful education workshops in 2010 and 2011 we are bringing them back to you in 2012. Here at Mojito we believe that the world will continue to exist past December 21st this year, and that continued education and training is key to your future business success.

We will be conducting workshops on a wide range of topics, including e-mail marketing, social media, working with images, statistics and videos on the web. It is going to be hands on and intimate (oooo), as our new workshops will be limited to a maximum of 8 people. This means you get to practice what we preach, as we preach it! WOW! Don’t worry it won’t be too boring, especially if the dog gets loose in the office again. Let’s not go there.

Our first workshop of the new year will be on Thursday the 9th of February, and will be all about email marketing; a great tool to help you conect with your customers and clients.

Want more information on the education? Call or email us today!

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19

Jan

“Ground Premium Beef with caramelised onion, freshly sliced tomato, crispy lettuce, juicy beetroot, succulent bacon, fried egg, cheese and BBQ sauce.” Try typing that out, while ogling seemingly endless pictures of delicious looking burgers. This is all while the limp lettuce from my boring ham sandwich slides into my lap. It is most definitely not a pretty picture. The sandwich I mean.

We recently launched a website for Townsville’s newest gourmet burger bar T.U.B.E and boy was it hard work. More than once I contemplated sneaking from the office to get myself a Gone Troppo burger; with its LIGHTLY SMOKED bacon, FRESH lettuce, JUICY tomato, TASTY cheddar and FRESH pineapple relish. Gosh adjectives go well in front of burger ingredients don’t they?

If you are a burger fan like myself you will want to take a peek at T.U.B.E’s online menu. Beef, Chicken, Fish and Veg Burgers, as well as all the sides, sauces and drinks (INCLUDING BEER) you could ever want to go with it. Oh and they do live music sometimes too. Did they create this place just for me?!

So go and get your mouth watering at t-u-b-e.com.au or even better head to Gregory street on the Strand to sample the goods for yourself.

A warning though – don’t check out the website on an empty stomach.

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12

Jan

Facebook. It’s a term most are familiar with. That’s that website where kids go and interact with each other instead of doing it in person right? Well, yes but Facebook can also be an extremely powerful tool for both small and big businesses.

Facebook can help businesses to interact with their customers on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis. It’s an awesome way to open the line of communication, as well as promote and advertise your business. More importantly it’s free and will take you ten minutes to set up.

Once you decide to take the plunge head to create a page. Facebook will take you step-by-step through the entire process. Don’t forget to add pictures, your logo, business address and contact details!

Once you’re page is looking great your next step is too get people to like it. This is the hardest part but if you put in the effort it will also be the most rewarding. In order for a person to receive updates from your page that person needs to physically click that they want to receive updates. People often won’t do this unless there are incentives involved. This may be in the form of exclusive offers for Facebook friends or even just the first to know when new stock arrives.

You also need to physically promote the page. Talk, blog, email, and link about your new Facebook page. Make sure everybody knows the benfits of following your business online.

Once you have established a fan base you need to ensure you keep your page up-to-date. This can be as simple as spending five minutes every few days to write a post to your customers. Facebook pages can become stale very quickly if they are not attended too regularly.

Facebook ticks all the right boxes.

  • Advertising and promotion
  • Communication between you and your customers
  • Time efficient
  • It’s FREE

So come on lets get with it, get on Facebook today.

PS- Need an example:  Mojito Solutions Facebook page.

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