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?)