Tips To Attract Local Customers

If you are running a local business, you may be wondering how you can target even more customers in your region. If you already have a website, that’s a great start, and if you don’t, it’s definitely time to join the digital marketing revolution.

More and more people are searching for businesses like yours online. That means they are using their computers, tablets and phones to find you. If you’re not online, or your website can’t be found, you can kiss goodbye to the chance of doing business with them. Whether you are selling products or services, you could be missing out on a huge chunk of your market.

But I have a website. Isn’t that enough?

No, you need to ensure people can find your website. The only way to do this, short of delivering your website address to everybody in the area by hand, is by making your website known by the search engines. And the only way you can do that is through local SEO.

Local SEO – It’s Not As Hard As It Sounds

When it comes to ensuring local customers can find you, the process is easier than it sounds, but it needs work. It also needs constant maintenance if you want to ensure you stay in front of your target audience and ahead of your competitors. Fortunately, there are companies offering professional assistance with search engine optimisation that can do everything for you, but more on this later.

Here are 5 ways you can improve your chances of being found by local customers:

1. Create a Google My Business account – by claiming your own Google My Business page, you will be joining the millions of businesses that are benefiting from this service. It’s almost like an additional web page, and is just another way to get your business known. This services allows you to add all the important details of your business, and to receive and show customer reviews too.

2. Acquire as many local reviews as possible – local reviews also have a direct impact on local search, and so try to get as many as possible. Use Google, Yell and other review sites, and ask previous customers if they would be happy to leave a review.

3. Optimise your landing pages – every single page on your website is a chance to get your business noticed in the search engines. By using the keywords that your audience is using to search for you online you automatically increase your chances of being found. So, if prospective customers are searching for “roofing”, make sure your pages contain that search phrase.

4. Build a link strategy – business is largely based on trust, but how do you convince people to trust you if they haven’t dealt with you before? The answer is to become an online authority in your field. Blog posts are a great way to do this and will add more keyword juice for the search engines as well as showing you know your stuff. You should look to write blogs on your website that link to good quality sites within your industry, and also look to write guest posts on relevant blogs that then link back to your own website.

5. Don’t forget social media – social media is another way you can boost your search engine rankings, so use it as much as you can. It’s also a great method to build a rapport with your target audience, and yet another way you can advertise your service, communicate directly with your customers and attract reviews.

If You Don’t, Your Competitors Will

Search engine optimisation is one of the best ways to reach your target audience. When it comes to attracting local business, you have a lot of tools and options open, but you must use them well to get the best returns. It’s only a matter of time before your competitors start to take up these methods, if they aren’t already doing so.

 

Preparing Costume Play Party

Do you like dressing up in costumes for Halloween or a special event? Would you like to be able to attend more functions with costumes? Then Cosplay is for you. This is the “hottest”creative and imaginative hobby being enjoyed by amateurs and professionals.

No, there are no lines to memorize and you do not have to act in a play or any type of theatre performance. Select a character that you would like to be and become that personality for a period of time.

People who participate in this activity can be found at celebrity, sci-fi, and other types of conventions which welcome costumed personalities. They can also be found at promotional events such as books or movies.

Costume ideas:

  1. Space creatures
  2. Robots
  3. Military and other combative characters
  4. Fantasy creatures
  5. Monsters
  6. Mythical characters and creatures
  7. Movie characters
  8. Super heroes
  9. Puppets
  10. Cartoon characters
  11. Sexual fantasies
  12. Toys
  13. Distorted human appearances
  14. Original creations fabricated by your imagination

The participants of this activity enjoy making their personal creations whether it is original or copying a favorite character of their choice. These people take great pride in their talents and skills which are needed to assemble a costume.

Regardless if the costume is purchased, rented or made by your skillful hands, cosplay is a lot of fun.

In addition to entertainment for self or others this interest may:

  1. Jumpstart a new career
  2. Photos of your costume may win contests, modeling, or a movie invitation
  3. Satisfy your need to portray various characters
  4. Meet celebrities and other famous people at the conventions and costumed promotions
  5. New social life with people who share your interest
  6. Travel
  7. Satisfy your creativity and imagination

Various talents used in arts and crafts are utilized in making these costumes. Copying and duplicating a simple character can be easy or an ordeal depending on your skills.

A monster or a military costume will involve crafts from plastics, foam, wiring, electronics, metal assembly, and more which may be needed for the costume and the props. In this example sewing fabric, fur, feathers, skins, leather, and other garment needs may require a sewing machine or hand stitching may be the solution.

Regardless if the costume is purchased, rented or made by your skillful hands, cosplay is a lot of fun.

This an up and coming “hot” hobby for everyone to enjoy. There is a niche for any interest, talent or skill which you may possess and wish to keep active.

 

Reason Art Can Boost Your Health

The profound effects of art on the mind and body

We often wonder what purpose art serves. Why would anyone want to spend their hard-earned money at a museum or a concern? There must be some reason why we’ve evolved to appreciate art. Multiple studies have shown that actively being creative has a number of health benefits and overall improves people’s quality of life. In fact, evidence suggests that the strongest communities are ones that support their local artists. Engaging in art, whether that be visual art, music, dance, or anything else, is essential to our well-being. Here are five positive impacts art has on our everyday lives:

1. Stress Relief

Every day stress is normal, but it’s important to take a break now and then to prevent a busy schedule from turning into chronic stress which can have a negative impact on your health. A great way to break up your routine is to incorporate some kind of art into your day. Studies have shown that even a short, ten minute break once a day can reduce your overall stress level. Being constantly bombarded with information can wear on your mental and physical health. Instead, dedicate a few minutes to creating something.

2. Improve Cognitive Function/Prevent Alzheimer’s

Brain science has improved exponentially in the last few decades. One fascinating new discovery was the concept of neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to re-shape itself and form new neuron connections as we absorb new information. One of the best ways to increase neuroplasticity is to think creatively, and what better way to do that than practise an instrument, paint a picture, or learn a new dance move. Neuroplasticity has been shown to actively prevent the degeneration of brain cells that lead to Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other cognitive diseases. It may also be possible that creative thinking and art therapy can reverse the behaviours of PTSD and bipolar patients.

3. Boost Your Mood

We all feel a sense of pride from creating something that is our own. The act of producing art releases feel-good chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. Many mental illnesses involve an irregular amount of these essential brain chemicals, resulting in things like depression or anxiety. Art therapy has shown remarkable results in improving mood and behaviour. For example, this study showed that art therapy was effective at decreasing depressive symptoms in prison inmates compared to other types of conventional therapy.

4. Physical Rehabilitation

Many professionals are starting to see the benefits of art in the medical field. Whereas before, art was seen as an alternative medicine, now people are realizing the real, scientific evidence behind it and why it works. Overall, when art is added into rehabilitation programs for injuries, addiction, and physical recovery, doctors report widespread reductions in a broad range of symptoms including pain, anxiety, and discomfort.

5. Enhance Cancer Treatment

A study on mindfulness based art therapy showed significantly reduced distress and better vital signs in cancer patients. Other studies show similar results, with reduced depression and fatigue in cancer patients during chemotherapy. Most of us are familiar with the devastating effects of cancer and the crippling treatments used to fight it. Art therapy, especially in groups, can have a huge impact on a patient’s quality of life, and that can make a big difference in treatment.

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
– Pablo Picasso

Art has a real and measurable impact on people’s lives. Incorporating it into treatments and therapy is a great way to reduce symptoms and get positive results. It breaks up the day-to-day routine of our lives and increases our happiness while decreasing stress.

 

Things About Life Casting

In the ancient days, life-like, three-dimensional imitations of a deceased person’s body were created to transport him or her to the next world. This venerable art from the land of Egypt is now being practiced all over the world.

However, one no longer has to be dead to get a life cast done! Yes, realistic and perfectly detailed reproductions of the living and breathing human body are possible today. The 3D replica manages to capture every minute detail right down to the hair, skin texture, fingerprints and even the pores.

This cherished reflection can be captured from any part of the body and impressions of baby hands and feet are particular popular. So are pregnant bellies, intertwined hands, individual torsos and so on.

How is it done?

A life cast begins with making a body mold. In fact, this forms a crucial step and success depends on both the skill of the artist and the cooperation of the model. In fact, the model is only involved at this stage and the artist will work on his own during the casting.

The life casting artist will carefully instruct the model and decide on a pose that has to be maintained for a while. The artist will do his best to ensure that the model stays comfortable, secure and stationary.

The artist coats the body part with petroleum jelly or other release agent before slathering it with an alginate mixture. This alginate is a natural product that is derived from seaweed and is completely safe for the skin. Softer set variations are also available that is gentle for infant skin. Alternatively, the artist can opt to make the body mold with skin-safe silicone rubber too.

The mold making material is carefully applied on the body. Extra attention is needed when casting the face as the mold should capture the precise shape and yet the material should not enter the eyes, mouth or nose. Alginate molds are secured with plaster bandages to enable the mold to retain its shape.

The mold will set in a matter of minutes and it can be demolding by wriggling the face a bit. Now alginate molds should be cast quickly as the material tends to shrink and distort quickly. Plaster is generally the material of choice for making life casts. Resin life casts are also popular. It is even possible to make life casts in stone, metal or wood by using cold casting powders.

The casting material is carefully poured into the body mold. Care is needed to avoid air bubbles that can easily mar the perfection of the life cast. Once cured, alginate molds are usually broken away to reveal the life cast inside. The cast is then carefully finished (to correct any imperfections) and can also be painted or buffed as required.

The final life cast is a spitting replica and looks perfect is every way. It can be hung from a peg or displayed on a marble or wooden base.