"" Paula L. Johnson


Happy Cinco de Mayo

Flyers–the ubiquitious marketing tool! Print 'em, email 'em or post them online. I did this one for Zapata Vive, a Mexican restaurant in Arcadia for Cinco de Mayo 2011. 

The shoemaker's children go barefoot!

I admit I just don't blog enough…for my own business. However, a good chunk of my time is spent performing social media for clients. I ghost blog and ghost post to Facebook, Twitter and other channels on behalf of nearly a dozen clients.  I've been experimenting with Pinterest to prepare to ghost pin for a few clients. You can see my "pins" at Pinterest.com/PasadenaPaula. 

As for my blog, I'm going to cheat and update a few older blog posts and, well, recycle them. This summer, I'll be converting this blog and my website into a single WordPress site. Maybe that'll get me blogging on a more regular schedule.

You deserve a cookie

Lots of websites use
cookies to identify site visitors.

I'm just not that fancy.


Facebook ads: Short text and one itty-bitty photo

My client, Dressed Up!, asked for a Facebook ad to wrap up prom season. My first Facebook ad! I specified the gender, age range, geographical location, and interests of the high school students who would see the ad. That was the fun part. 

The challenge was writing a short headline and text, and finding a photo that looked nice at a very small size.  

On Facebook, the ad will link to the client's store site, which features prom dresses for the rest of the month.


How to create an email signature

I started a flash fiction blog in 2009 and, in addition to publishing short-short stories, I post marketing tips for writers. Last month I posted a tutorial on email signatures and realized it was good advice for anyone in business. I've edited my original post and offer it here:

An email signature is a free, simple way to look professional, communicate your brand, and make life easier for the recipients of your email messages. By my tally, that's win-win-win. 

If you're ready to start signing off in style, here are the steps to get you started.

1. Decide what to include.

Typically, a signature contains your name, plus a few of these items:
• Name
• Title 

• Company
• Address

• Telephone number(s)

• Web address

• Blog address

• Social media links (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace)
Hunt down the full addresses for any websites as you'll need the URL, starting with http, to create links. 

2. Format your content.
Let's say you've decided on this:
Jane Smith
Technical writer
Office: 000/000-0000
Cell: 000/000-0000
Website: http://www.paulaljohnson.com
Blog: http://paulaljohnson.blogspot.com

I'm using my own URLs, but you get the idea.

Most email programs will let you change the font, the weight and the color. However, don't choose an exotic font because if the recipient does have that font on their computer, your signature will default to something like the decidedly unsexy Courier.

So…you jazz it up a bit and decide on this:

JANE SMITH :: Technical writer


3. Learn how signatures work in your specific email program.

If you enter "email signatures" in your email program's HELP window, you should find what you need to set up your signature.

To get you going, here are instructions for the most common programs:

Don't despair if the instructions don't match what's on your screen exactly. Software gets updated all the time, so some items may be reordered or on another menu. Poke around—you'll figure it out.

If you don't have an email program and check your mail from a web browser, you can still have an email signature. Just look for a menu item called "tools" or "settings" or "preferences." 

4. Fine tune your signature and test it. 
When you paste your signature into the signature window, add a few hard returns above it so there is always space between the last line of your message and the start of your signature.

If your program doesn't turn your URLs into clickable links, you can do that manually (in most programs). 

Finally, type a few lines in a test message and send it to yourself. Adjust the signature as needed, then start using it.

For more bossy advice helpful suggestions for marketing yourself, read part one, part two, and part three of "Upping your online presence" on my flash fiction blog.


Five minute fiction

Warning! This is a shameless plug for one of my extracurricular activities.

The Rose City Sisters is a flash fiction blog that presents a 1,000 word stories.
To date, more than two dozen writers from the U.S., Canada and India have submitted stories.

If you're having one of those days when lunch means "sandwich at desk while waiting for an important call," treat yourself to a side order of fiction.


Get over your fear of heights on Facebook

Whether you have a personal Profile or a company Page, your identifying Facebook photo does not have to be square.

Your sidebar photo (or illustration) must be 180 pixels wide, but it can be up to 540 pixels tall.  Make sure a portion of the image will work as a square avatar—that's what people will see when you post updates or comment on your friend's posts.

I often create art for Facebook Pages, Twitter profiles, and other social media sites when I design or update client websites.

To see how these images look in use, just click each client's name.

Dressed Up!, L.A.'s only eveningwear superstore
The dress in this layout can change with the store's inventory. You can change your sidebar photo as often as you'd like.

Huntington Medical Foundation
The landmark Colorado Bridge photo has been used on this medical group's website and ads.

Terri Steuben/Calm Healer
When you have a fun photo, use it prominently.

Doug Brignole 
This simple layout reflects this client's main areas of expertise.

The Joke Gym
For some people, Facebook is the first exposure to your product or company. Presenting all the key information in the sidebar graphic is a fan-friendly approach.