Modern advertising industry says “branding is everything.” Creating beautiful online presence might not be a challenge to large corporations and agencies. What about small businesses? Who will take care fo them and do they even stand a chance to compete in a heavily-saturated media world? I decided to ask the two co-founders of The Helm Creative Services, Kait Turch and Joseph Garcia. One thing that really defined them for me is this excerpt of our conversation: “We really want to help people in the community; we really believe in small businesses. One very special thing about Denver is that everyone in Denver is very local-oriented and we’d like to be a part of that. Our goal is to help small businesses realize their potential.”
Tell me a little bit about your company?
Our business is called The Helm Creative Services. A lot of the people we know own small businesses and one thing we noticed is that small businesses lack the ability to really brand themselves, and with things like the Internet and social media branding is something really necessary right now. They just don’t know how to do it and they don’t really have the resources to create a wholesome online presence, like create a logo, promote themselves across the different platforms and use content for that. We didn’t start it to make a lot of money; there are lots of agencies and creative service companies that are all about the money and big contracts. We are all about the small businesses and non-profits.
A really cool website home page
There is a local non-profit called Denver Writes that teaches children how to write. We did a complete website and logo redesign, we created guidelines for what’s acceptable and what’s not; we did a whole brand book for them. We also recommended a name change. Since we did that, they have gone from zero volunteer requests to 50 volunteer requests coming from the website. People are really liking it and it has grown the non-profit a lot. We do a sliding scale pricing for non-profits; for small businesses, we have set prices and different packages.
How many success stories do you have so far?
Our official launch will be January 1 (we spoke in the beginning of December — The Social Media Current), so we haven’t done any advertising yet. We are networking right now and we already have a long client list.
What if people want to do more traditional advertising in print, do you help them with that as well?
Yes, we do have a package for that and we can help with print materials, like business cards, banners and brochures.
So you also help your clients with social media and content marketing?
Branding is huge but just having a great website and a great logo doesn’t really mean anything unless your content does. You can buy a logo from different websites for 5 dollars but what we do is we sit down with clients and talk to them about their business, branding and content strategy. We help them with visual setup for social media sites, direct them on what tone, voice and type of content to use for their brand communications. However, this does not necessarily mean they will know how to use all of that, so we also offer them freelance connection services. We have a list of approved blogging and video freelancers. We will work with company’s budget and find a freelancer for them, who will work through us.
Check out their amazing portfolio
How important do you think it is to have a comprehensive content strategy?
Our content strategy is overreaching all of the digital presence; we don’t only handle websites but we create a strategy across all channels. We really think that online presence is not only a website or a Facebook page, but all of those things together. We are making sure that our clients will have something for all their platforms. Your digital presence is no longer just you. People love working face to face with people but it’s no longer just that way. If someone googles you, your presence should be put together, otherwise it can be harmful to making sales. People need to see they can trust you. Through this consistency you gain credibility.
Since you’re working with small businesses and they usually don’t have the time, the money and other resources to be present on all platforms, do you recommend specific platforms that they have to put their efforts in to?
We make specific brand recommendations, but we definitely recommend LinkedIn, Google Plus and Facebook. Google Plus shows in the sidebar when someone googles your business and it’s also good for SEO. LinkedIn gives your business credibility.
How many platforms do you recommend businesses to start with?
First of all, not all platforms need to be updated all the time. It also depends on the upkeep of the chosen platforms, because that in itself can be a full-time job. We’d say no more than five.
Facebook’s organic reach for business posts is already very low and it’s rumored than it will soon be at 0. How do you explain your customers the need to pay to Facebook?
It’s definitely challenging for small businesses. To me, it’s similar to web posting, you have to pay to get it. If it’s low price like $5 once a week, it’s not so bad, it’s reasonable.
The Helm provides branding, web design and print design services to set your organization on the course for success. Check out their amazing website (even if just for fun of spinning helm).
Originally published at thesocialmediacurrent.com on January 16, 2015.