On Monday 30 March, 2020 we launched ‘In the house, On the house’ – a complimentary consultation offering for small businesses affected by covid-19. ‘ITHOTH’ was established to provide all sole traders, SMEs, freelancers, bands, artists, or start-ups who were stuck in the house, phone or email consultations on the house. Simple.
Absolutely free, the purpose of this service offering was to provide advice and information to small business owners based on their current marketing efforts and what can be done during covid-19 to keep their head above water. Like many businesses in many industries, we too felt the weight of what was to come.
Over the course of six weeks we spoke to LOTS of incredible people. We not only wanted to help others, but aimed to keep ourselves busy during isolation, too!
See below all the interesting bits and pieces we found during the process:
We started a new HOW TO series: ‘chip ‘n dip tips’ (it’s a mouthful) aims to provide snackable content to small business owners as a quick, entry level guide to industry know-how. This week? Building a website.
Starting things off with a very controversial accompanying image (are hot chips and tomato sauce really classed as chip ‘n dip?) we explore building a website using today’s most common, hopefully most functional and definitely most affordable options. in HOW TO: Chews a Website.
Before we kick-off our Top 10 list it’s important to remember to determine the purpose of your website. Factoring in the overall look and feel, how you perceive potential customers will likely navigate the page, the size and scale of information housed along with absolute must-haves are critical stages of thinking before even considering which platform to use.
Variations in business industries and models have allowed niche platforms to arise meaning not only an easier decision for you, but an enhanced user experience for your customer.
Here are our top picks in HOW TO: Chews a Website based on these three key criteria: design // functionality // value for money (all pricing for monthly cost with annual buy-in).
10. SITE123 Coming in at #10 is SITE123. SITE123 have two options: free or premium. In terms of offerings and value included in the paid option, it’s not much. Definitely our least favourite option but this might suit your skillset or design taste so still worth exploring.
design // functionality // value // who for // freelancers, start-ups without eCommerce
9. GoDaddy I might be biased here but I had a really bad experience with GoDaddy in the past when both registering and cancelling domain names so it’s left a rather salty – for better choice of words – taste in my mouth. It seems like the interface might be user friendly but I have personally never tried.
Pricing starts from running a free trial to A$13 per month upwards to A$30 per month. au.godaddy.com
design // functionality // value // who for // freelancers, small eCommerce, start-ups
8.Sitebuilder The main difference with this platform compared to the others is cost. They have multiple options but lack a free option for those wanting to try it out. What they do have going for them is ease of navigation however less template options.
design // functionality // value // who for // start-ups, small business
7. Jimdo One of the lesser known players, Jimdo actually pulls through in terms of simplicity. Sleek, clean, simple designs with a user-friendly interface. Definitely aimed at both small businesses and creatives but again this just comes down to personal taste and end goals.
Pricing starts from free to A$90 per month with multiple other options in between. www.jimdo.com
design // functionality // value // who for // start-ups, small business, eCommerce, freelancers, photographers, artists
6. Weebly Weebly sites are really easy to navigate with very simple drag and drop features. This is a great option for a beginner but just be mindful these sites won’t have the complexity as something like WordPress (later down on the list).
Pricing starts from free to A$30 per month with a few options in between. www.weebly.com/au
design // functionality // value // who for // eCommerce, small business, freelancers, start-ups
5. Shopify Starting the top 5 in HOW TO: Chews a Website is Shopify. Specifically for businesses selling products, Shopify has excelled in creating a super user-friendly platform for both you and your customers. However, like anything with all the bells and whistles, Shopify comes with a pretty hefty price tag.
Pricing starts from A$40 up to A$410 per month with a cheeky A$110 option in between. www.shopify.com.au
design // functionality // value // who for // eCommerce, small-large businesses
4. Bandzoogle Not ideal if you’re not a musician, but worth a mention as it is beautifully designed by musicians for musicians. Super user friendly, clean, no developer skills needed in terms of setting up and managing your site. Not comparable to Squarespace as they operate differently but exceptional in its own right.
design // functionality // value // who for // musicians, photographers, videographers, artists
3. Wix 2013 Wix vs 2020 Wix is day and night. Over the years they have really amplified their game. Loads of variations and options, incredibly easy to use, I’m confident you have at least 20+ friends with a Wix website.
Pricing starts from A$16 to A$43 with options in between (different pricing for eCommerce). www.wix.com
design // functionality // value // who for // small-medium businesses, start-ups, freelancers, artists, photographers
2. Squarespace Probably one of the most common sites used for musicians and creatives. Squarespace gets straight to the point in terms of functionality and design. Not as complex as WordPress but sometimes simplicity is what you need.
Pricing starts from A$12 to $18 per month with other pricing options for eCommerce. www.squarespace.com
design // functionality // value // who for // small-medium businesses, start-ups, eCommerce, freelancers, musicians, photographers, artists
1. WordPress Rounding off the top ten in prestigious position #1 in HOW TO: Chews a Website, is none other than WordPress. A little more challenging learning the ropes if you’re new to navigating tech platforms but well worth the time and effort. The great part about WordPress is it has so many plugins (extra functionality to give your site more) as well as what feels like endless options of templates and designs.
Pricing starts from free to A$59 per month with varying options in between. www.wordpress.com
design // functionality // value // who for // small-large businesses, start-ups, eCommerce, freelancers, musicians, photographers, artists
NB: Everyone will have a different opinion on what sites work best for them based on their business, skillset, budget and more. Go with what feels right for you and your business needs. Happy searching! If you need anything answered, feel free to reach out:
HOW TO: Chews a Website is an opinion piece with research pulled from various sources. We are not affiliated with any of the above mentioned platforms. We take full responsibility for the backlash claiming hot chips and tomato sauce are in any way, shape or form chip ‘n dip. – Lara Chrystal, Matchstick Marketing
Not a story but a gathering to share many stories… picnic + mates + hugs + a random raffle for a great cause 💛 🖤
Original date: Saturday // 4 July, 2020 Changed date: Saturday // 24 Oct, 2020 🌴 NEW DATE // Saturday 20 March, 2021 🤞🏽
Between lockdowns, Pell, bushfires and racists, 2020 has been a big year. When we can safely do so, we’ll be hanging out in the park hugging our closest mates (you).
We’ll be hosting a ‘random raffle’ on the day to help raise funds for charities. The raffle will consist of varying products and services, both big and small, donated by local Inner West businesses within the community. All proceeds from the raffle will be directly donated to Australian based organisations driving advocacy for indigenous rights.
If you’re a business offering services or products you’d like to contribute, email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re a parkgoer, bring some coin!
NEW DATE Saturday20 March 2021 12pm // 5pm Camperdown Park Newtown, NSW
Something all us marketers have asked ourselves time and time again is ‘what is our image?’. Branding, when done well, tells the story of a product or organisation without having to say much or anything at all.
Like any other facet of marketing, there isn’t a right or wrong (contrary to what most will argue), there is only what works best for YOUR brand. Colours, wording, ad placement and USP are just a few things to consider. We’ve put together 5 Hot Tips: Branding to highlight a few key points in making a powerful, impactful and successful brand.
Here’s 5 useful tips if you’re an artist, band, small business owner or anyone just starting out:
Keep it short, sharp and to the point. Taglines, bios, even logos are best when condensed. Make your brand standout instantly by showcasing the crux of what you do.
Highlight your ‘you’. Be unique and embrace it.
Be consistent but creative. Marketers constantly talk about consistency. Yes we want brand recognition instantaneously, but your audience also wants fresh ideas. Keep your logo or colours or fonts imbedded in the artwork but don’t be afraid to change designs. Make something that’s refreshing as well as recognisable.
Positioning creates perception. Where do you tell your story? What’s your USP (unique selling point)? How does your audience perceive you? Defining channels, key messaging and what sets you apart from your competitors is imperative.
Stay relevant. Change, adapt, grow. Nothing should stay exactly the same (even if it’s working).
Mardi Gras 2020 officially began on Sunday with the annual Fair Day celebrations getting us well into the spirit of all things queer. As such, we put together six initiatives brands can do outside of the Mardi Gras / Pride festivities to be good brand allies in: How To: Branding & Pride
Since the 78ers bravely protested LGBT rights on 24 June 1978, Sydney has hosted more than 40 years of events, with the 2019 event bringing more than 500,000 people into the city making the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras its fourth largest annual event (only surpassed by NYE, Vivid and Sydney Lunar Festival).
First recognising Mardi Gras as a major festival in 2008, the City of Sydney provided $120,000 in sponsorship in recognition of its significance as a hallmark event and positive impact on the NSW economy. So, what did this mean for brands?
The commercial potential through Mardi Gras is huge. The parade itself is broadcast live around the country as well as televised internationally. If you want to reach a large amount of people throughout February & March every year, this is it.
From an ethical, moral, responsibility and accountability perspective, Mardi Gras sponsors are typically vetted to ensure they meet certain criteria (see www.mardigras.org.au) and to ensure they are continuing to rally behind the LGBTQI community outside the Mardi Gras season. For brands who aren’t official sponsors, there is no such vetting. This has caused mixed feelings about corporate sponsors and Mardi Gras from within the LGBTQI community. On one hand they provide revenue to continue the events. On the other hand, how authentic are these companies being to support LGBTQI rights? Are they simply seeing this as an opportunity to reach large, diverse groups? Is this just another “topical, trendy” space to dominate? Or do they genuinely advocate for our community using their status and resources on hand, continuously?
If you’re a big, small, medium, one-person, multinational, red, orange, purple or anything business who is currently aligning your brand with Mardi Gras 2020, we’ve put together six helpful tips on how you can continue this support to our community year-round. If you’re a business who isn’t currently marketing your business around such theme, these are still really helpful ways you can support the LGBTQI community.
HOW TO: Branding & Pride
Employ more LGBTQI people in senior leadership positions
Much like all other forms of diversity and inclusion in the workplace (gender, race/ethnicity, disability/ability + more), gender identity and sexual orientation form a big part of the total inclusion puzzle. One of the biggest ways you can support your employees is by providing equal opportunities. We want that 21-year-old newly out, freshly graduated from Uni junior marketing exec to know that if they want to work towards a seat at the table, it’s theirs.
Provide safe spaces or support groups
LGBTQI staff can sometimes feel voiceless or alone. Providing a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment to members of your team can encourage better performance, heighten team morale, increase staff retention and most of all show that you care. Be a business that cares.
Support local community advocacy groups
No matter where your business is located, I promise you, there’s at least one LGBTQI support organisation or advocacy group. These networks specialise in methods and practices to better support LGBTQI people in the wider community be it in sporting groups, community events or community services. Support them.
Make a stand
Being the first within a sector or community to stand up for equality can seem daunting but will pay off. Even if you believe no one is openly out within your business, reassuring everyone they would be accepted is crucial to current and future workforces.
Wear colours with pride
The most noticeable way we see brands supporting Mardi Gras is with the pride flag. Don’t just wait for Mardi Gras to show you’re proud. Tweak your logo, update your website, show your pride year-round.
Support the T in LGBT
The T stands for transgender and often has nothing to do with sexuality yet many think it does. Transgender people regularly face invasive questions, hurtful rumours and hateful discrimination. Supporting transgender people within your business is vital.
How To: Branding & Pride is an opinion piece with research pulled from various sources. We are not affiliated with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras by anything more than marching in the parade as our fabulous self – Lara Chrystal, Matchstick Marketing