ActiveRain Signatures - Part 4 - A Signature Makeover

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Education & Training with Tech Training for You!

In this series of articles, we have been looking at how to use the signature option in ActiveRain (click that link if you need to go back to catch up). AR gives you the opportunity to create a signature, or footer, that will display at the bottom of each of your blog posts. To recap - a signature is a nice way to leave your reader with a snippet about WHO you are, WHAT you do and give them a way to connect with you further (whether by tel, email, or links to your website or other social pages)

If you look at printed stationary, consider specifically that portion that we call the footer. How big is the footer? It is usually just one or two lines to provide supplemental information on the page. A footer would NOT take half a page! That would be out of proportion. The body of the letter is what is important. It is similar with our signature in ActiveRain. It acts as a footer to our article. It can be just a few lines or perhaps a little larger. Does yours take up half or more of the vertical size of your screen? If so, time to rethink it.

It should not be your full life's bio nor a list of exhaustive services. You have a profile page where we would expect to go to get that information.

Debbie Walsh and I had met here on ActiveRain and had traded some emails. I needed a good example for my fourth article in the current series to have a signature where I could make a big difference in the before and after results. (her old signature is over there on the right) Debbie and I talked on the phone and she was a good sport about her signature. "Is it thaaat bad?"

"Well, no - but let's make it BETTER!" :)

"Why, what's wrong with it?"

"Well one thing is that it's a little too tall. What would happen if we start from scratch. Here is a link to search for free social media buttons. Take a look and see if you like any"

I gave her this link
free social media buttons

"I like the stars"

"Ok - let me work with some ideas and I'll get back to you"

In my previous articles, I have mentioned that a signature doesn't need a portrait, but I like it when it does. In the blog roll, sometimes you are scrolled way down from the top of the page where your portrait is and it is another chance for a consumer who doesn't know you yet to keep associating just who it is that just wrote this great article and you want them to associate to you. The footer should give calls to action to keep them tied to you. How do they get to your website? How can they call or email you.

So I started Debbie's signature with a top graphic that used a color gradient background. I used a portrait of her but changed it up a bit by masking out the background. I also brought the Keller Williams logo to the top of the footer (she had it at the bottom).

Next, I wanted to put very simple but clear references as how to contact Debbie. Website, email, and telephone. I also put the "search for homes" link as that is one of the most sought after needs for someone looking. So if you take a look below you can see how the footer is shaping up.

In the middle of the footer she had a short paragraph of text that was already on target. It is a good SHORT synopsis about her and it has good SEO keyword targeting also.

To wrap up the footer, I took the social media stars that we had found together and lined them up in a row and attached hyperlinks to each of them to take a person to the different pages of hers.

Debbie emailed me about my draft of the new signature, "OMG. I love it!!"

We have since implemented it and you can see it in the context of her blog for example in her "30 in 30 days - I made it" post. Debbie in turn has thanked me in a very outstanding way by writing a thank you post that was featured just a couple days ago. Haaaaaaaaaave You Met Craig Daniels?
(thank you Debbie!)

I did a couple things in Debbie's that I haven't taught you yet (e.g. gradient backgrounds, shadows, and masking). But hey, stick with me and I'll get you to advanced topics too. The concepts that I applied are still valid and will help you and give you some ideas when working with your footer.

So that wraps up my series on signatures. I hope you have enjoyed it. Hmmm what should I talk about next? (twitter anyone?)

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Rainer
91,761
Kathy Kenney
Keller Williams, Princeton, NJ - Robbinsville, NJ
Realtor - Princeton & Central NJ Homes for Sale

Thanks for the lesson!  I would love to hire you!

Oct 25, 2010 01:57 AM #42
Rainmaker
799,042
Debbie Walsh
Shahar Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036

To Virginia Hepp - Thank you!!!  To all of my buddies -thanks you guys!! (I mean girls-LOL)

To Craig you did an amazing amazing job!  For the people who love the work if you don't hire him you are making a big mistake!!  He is sooo creative!  (Just like another Craig we know and love)

Oct 25, 2010 02:19 AM #43
Rainmaker
625,199
Patricia Aulson
BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate - Exeter, NH
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

I enjy the series, thanks for getting it out to us on AR... I've bookmarked it for future reference.

Patricia/Seacoast NH & Me

Oct 25, 2010 02:32 AM #44
Ambassador
418,923
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

all - thanks for your comments! enjoy hearing from you

Debbie - glad you finally made it over to see the post - know you've had a busy weekend! so glad that you love the finished product - glad I got to know you better working with you on the project

Peggy in #36 - when you turn on auto signatures, the older posts will have double footers. I can only imagine how that can be a bit of a problem. You may want to just go back and edit the "best of" posts that you still refer to now and take out the old footers from these. My comment above at #29 would talk about the alternative which is not auto footers but I think I'd still prefer the automated ones.

Oct 25, 2010 02:40 AM #45
Rainmaker
1,246,387
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Graig, very good information. I need to take another look at my signature. Thanks for the tutorial.

Oct 25, 2010 03:12 AM #46
Rainer
109,512
Carol Andersen
Navarre Beach Agency - Navarre, FL
NW Floridanulls Real Estate Pro, TRC, ICREA

Great tools and advice.  I Can't wait to add the media buttons to my blog!

Oct 25, 2010 03:20 AM #47
Rainer
35,804
Manuel Monserrate
Raleigh, NC

Bookmarked for definite future use.  That's why I'm a happy subscriber.

Oct 25, 2010 06:01 AM #48
Rainer
28,255
Tricia Houston
Lending Maven Mortgage - Denver, Colorado - Highlands Ranch, CO

Craig,

this is excellent....what do you charge to do a "signature makeover"??

Oct 25, 2010 07:19 AM #49
Rainmaker
653,475
Robert Hammerstein
Keller Williams Valley Realty - Hillsdale, NJ
Bergen County NJ Real Estate

Craig - Wow I have to go in and tweak mine now. Thanks for this ...

Oct 25, 2010 07:31 AM #50
Rainer
309,580
Bernadine Hunter, SFR, ACRE
Keller Williams Greater Columbus Realty - Blacklick, OH
"Finding Solution to Your Real Estate Needs"

This has been a wonderful series. Thanks for sharing it with the AR community!

Oct 25, 2010 07:18 PM #51
Rainmaker
190,097
Dave Gubler
Mission Viejo, Foothill Ranch, Lake Forest, Ladera Ranch - Lake Forest, CA
Realtor | Orange County

Oh... can't wait to learn how to do the gradient backgrounds.  Like the look of that.  Will wait patiently for the "course".  As always Craig, great stuff!

Oct 26, 2010 01:22 PM #52
Rainmaker
83,994
Maria Marriott
Executive Properties - Roseville, CA
Realtor - DBRealEstateTeam.com

Craig: I've just found you and am already loving your posts. I have to read the signature one and work on mine. Thanks for sharing all that great information!

Oct 28, 2010 02:51 AM #53
Rainmaker
799,042
Debbie Walsh
Shahar Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036

Still crazy Craig but ditto!  I look forward to working with you in the future!

Oct 28, 2010 07:51 AM #54
Rainmaker
273,123
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

That certainly is an outstanding signature make over Craig. Very nice indeed!

Oct 31, 2010 04:26 PM #55
Rainmaker
417,748
Patty Clark
Metro Brokers/Morningside Homes, LLC - Denver, CO
Helping Families Make the Right Move

This great information is overload for me.  Instead of trying to remember it I have printed it out and started a file of Craig's Classroom. Thanks for helping us all.

Nov 04, 2010 02:22 PM #56
Rainmaker
148,135
Jeremy Joslin
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - South Windsor, CT
Professional Real Estate Marketing and Sales
Fantastic Design. I love it and i have been looking at a lot of them.
May 07, 2011 03:57 PM #57
Ambassador
2,067,833
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Palm Harbor, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Indeed, fantastic job! I think we all would agree that your arrival in ActiveRain has benefited us all. Hope they offer you a job!

Jun 18, 2011 10:02 AM #58
Rainmaker
99,785
Joey Remondino
RE/MAX Preferred Properties - Vienna, VA
Broker, GRI, E-Pro

Craig,  Ok, I am giving it a shot, so we will see how I do.  At least I will find out if I can do this or if I just need to pay someone to do it for me.

Thanks

Jun 22, 2011 03:12 AM #59
Rainer
351,499
Anna Hatridge
Goodson Realty - Bonne Terre, MO
Missouri Realtor with Goodson Realty

I found this post because you recently mentioned it in another post.  Thank you so much.  I would like to reblog it but it is not allowed. Craig Daniels will you please repost this so others like myself can catch up.  Thank you so much Craig for all the helpful information.

Sep 19, 2014 12:57 PM #60
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Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Anna Hatridge :: I'm glad you rediscovered an older post but still hopefully with helpful info! Rather than reposting this, I'm soon going to do a 2014 update to the series. Stay tuned! :)

Sep 20, 2014 03:52 AM #61
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