Launch Party Highlights

Minutes Matter is preparing for our biggest release ever! Join us for a sneak peek of Studio 3.0 and Jackie Von Tobel's first window treatment module. Here are a few exciting features and functions we will be revealing.

~ Exclusive Jackie Von Tobel Module (optional purchase)
~ All Pate Meadows & M’Fay Patterns FREE!!
~ All New Re-Illustrated Designs
~ One-Click Trim
~ Sleek New Look
~ Photograph Scale Tool
~ Break Apart Designs
~ Customizable Index
~ Larger Icon Preview
~ Automatic Backup
. . . Just To Name A Few!!!

View this LIVE Webinar to see all the new features of Studio 3.0 and preview Jackie’s first module.


Preview of Jackie's First Module

We are SOOOO excited to be releasing the first of four Jackie Von Tobel Window Treatment Modules. Here is a sampling of the renderings included in this first release . . .


NEW!!! Custom Blog Design by Minutes Matter!

As you can see blogging is a great way to create relationships with your clients. When you're ready to begin, we will help you eliminate the "look-alike template" by creating a unique design to match your company's branding. Our services also include setting up your Gmail and Blogger accounts, enhance the functionality to make your blog user friendly, and learn tips to rank higher on search engines! The best news is you can just sit back and relax while we do all the work!

Custom Blog Design services include:
  • Easy Setup: Set up accounts with Google and Blogger. (Passwords can be changed once we have completed your blog.)

  • Unique Design: Our talented graphic artist will create a custom heading to reflect your company's branding. (Of course, there's a specific size that looks best and we know the secret!)

  • Width Enhancement: Notice how most blogs are narrow, by editing the HTML code, we are able to widen your blog space. This enhancement gives you more text space, as well as, creating a more peaceful environment for your visitors.

  • Font Theme: The subject headings, hyperlinks, rollover text, etc. are customized to reflect your company's color scheme.

  • Portfolio: We include a slideshow to display your favorite portfolio photographs. (Setup includes uploading 15 of your own photographs.)

  • Personalized Links: Multiple sidebar sections are added to make learning about your company easy. Sidebars topics include personalized information such as media links, education and training certifications, an area to display your favorite finds such as great books or preferred resources, and an easy way to learn more about you and your company.

  • Designer Background: Implement a designer background to compliment your company's color scheme and custom heading.

  • Article Posting: Your first article will be written and posted to get your blog ready for visitors.

  • Quick Link: We include a Share button to allow people to link your blog articles to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. This is a great way for your customers to show off your services!

  • Blogger Heading: Edit HTML code to remove the Blogger banner so your client can focus on what is really important, you!

  • Search Feature: A custom "Search" text box is implemented by adding HTML code to your standard template.

  • Spam Protection: If you were to type your email address on your blog, spammers can easily find your address and add you to their list of targets. We encrypt your email to eliminate this potential threat.

  • Personalized Client File: After your blog has been completed, you will receive a document containing your account login information and a step-by-step user guide. We also include tips such as how to rank higher in Google!

  • Custom Blog Design Cost: $247

The Custom Blog Design program begins April 1st. Blogs will be created in order of registration, so sign up early to be first on the list! Email us at support@minutesmatter.com to reserve your spot!


Blogging ~ The Real Facts (Part Two)

As we discussed last week, when you to set up a Blogger account you must first set up a Google account and once this account is set up Google will automatically set up a Picasa Web Albums account for you. Picasa Web Albums stores all the images you post on your blog.

Once your blog is created you will sign into the Google Dashboard; notice the options below. You can click New Posts to create a new blog, or select Edit Posts to edit an existing blog, select Settings or Layout to change how your blog looks and functions or you can click View Blog.

Settings tab (consists of several sub-categories; very easy to fill out)

The Basic tab asks questions like:

Add your blog to our listings? Of course, you would select "Yes."

  1. Let Search engines find your blog? Again, of course you would select "Yes."

  2. Show Quick Editing on your blog? This displays edits tools visible to only owners and authors; select "Yes."

  3. Show Compose Mode for all your blogs? Select "Yes."

Leave the Publishing tab as is.

On the Formatting tab set the Show option to 7 posts.

The Comments tab determines how reader comments, if allowed, are displayed.

The Permissions tab allows you to add additional Authors and then manage their status.

Layout tab (allows you to customize your blog)

On the Page Elements tab; You can add a custom heading to your blog if you have selected a template with a customizable heading.

To further customize your blog you will want to add Gadgets; click "Add a Gadget" text and you will see many choices that you can add to your blog sidebar. One of the Gadgets is a "Link List" add this Gadget when you want to give your readers direct links to articles or other websites. You can add as many links as you like. You will also need to add a title for this Gadget. We added several "Link List" sections to our Dandelion Interiors blog sidebar (i.e. Upcoming Events, Our Recommendations, Favorite Finds & Press.) You can also add a Slideshow Gadget.

There is also a Fonts & Colors tab that allows you to change font styles and colors for headings, text color, link color etc. (This was one of the features we really liked in Blogger.)

Plan on posting once a week to keep content fresh and to entice readers to keep coming back. Posts can be short, one or two paragraphs are sufficient. Both websites www.minutesmatter.com and www.dandelioninteriors.com each contain a link to its blog. Make it easy for people to find your blog. There's no better way than to add a link from your website! This week on our Dandelion Interiors blog I posted an article about making a room look larger. I used Minutes Matter Studio 3.0, our graphic design software to effectively illustrate mounting alternatives as well as style choices. Studio can be your best marketing tool. I will be using Studio frequently in my Dandelion blogs to help me illustrate my design tips and to show off my graphic rendering skills.


Blogging ~ The Real Facts (Part One)

I am sure you have heard the term Social Networking. Even if you haven't heard that term, I'm sure you are familiar with Facebook, MySpace, or blogging. In this article, we are going to discuss blogs. We will discuss Facebook in a future ezine so don't miss it! Let me give you a little insight on why this topic is extremely important to our industry and, most importantly, YOU as a business owner. This past January, I joined a webinar which confirmed to me the fact that times are changing. It started with this shocking statement, "If you as a business owner are not on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter and don't have a blog then your business will be dead or dying in three to five years." I was astounded at that statement. (Oh, and he had already stated that he assumed everyone that had a business has a website.) I knew right then it was time to stop putting it off and I began to create my Facebook, Twitter and blogs. Of course, miracles don't happen overnight, but you DO HAVE TO START MOVING toward technology and you MUST to do it NOW! If you continue to wait, your competition will be moving forward while your business remains stagnate.

The REAL FACTS: The last three Dandelion Interiors clients were direct results of Google searches. In fact, we just had another caller today who said she found us on the Internet. We asked what specific search engine she used and she said Google. Then we asked her for her search words and she said "cornice boards, window treatment, and Nashville." Had we not had a website, we never would have received those calls! If you were visiting a company's website, interested in doing business, and ready to spend thousands of dollars, wouldn't you check out that company's blog? Of course you would! In a world of instant gratification, your potential clients now research a company before they ever pick up the phone. So why should you have a website and a blog? A website gives your customers a general company overview; however, a blog is key to developing a relationship with your client. As Jeffrey Gitomer says, "If they like you, and they believe you, and they have confidence in you, and they trust you - then they may buy from you."

As I began writing this article, I realized this topic requires a considerable amount of content so I decided to break this article into multiple parts. In part 2 we will share more technical information on creating a blog, this week we will discuss our recommendations for the "best choice" when starting your blog.

We receive tons of questions regarding which blog is the best: Wordpress or Blogger. Both of these companies offer free blogs and both have their pros and cons. We actually created two company blogs (Dandelion Interiors & Minutes Matter) on both blogging sites (Wordpress & Blogger). After comparing the two, we ended up selecting Blogger since it was a little more user friendly and much more customizable.

Here is why Blogger won us over:

  • Design: Blogger has more customizable templates. Since our industry is all about "design" this is a very important factor.

  • Colors: The subject line, hyperlinks, and font colors can be customized to match the branding of your company.

  • Anti-spam: Includes an anti-spam feature when visitors post article comments.

  • Dashboard: You are automatically logged into your Dashboard allowing you access to multiple blogs that you have created.

  • Easy Edits: Edit tools (pencil & wrench) are viewable on blog for owner & authors to make it very easy to edit an article or add another link to your sidebar. (You will not see these tools when viewing our blogs, since you are not an author.) (See screenshot)

  • Postings: Post dates can be edited as needed.

Blog Images: To sign up for Blogger, you will be prompted to create a Google account. Once this account is created, you will automatically be signed up for Picasa Web Albums. Picasa Web Albums stores all the images for your Blogger. Eventually, you will need more space to store your images; you can purchase 10GB for only $20 per year.

Posting: Once your blog is created, it is very easy to add articles. When you sign into your Dashboard, simply select "New Post" and you are ready to begin. Next week we will focus on how to keep content fresh and to entice readers to keep coming back.