My life as a graphic designer has undoubtedly been a long and winding road. I started many years ago studying art and graphic design at Tyler School of Art at Temple University. I was fortunate to study with some of the most renowned designers, such as Stanislaw Zagorski, known for his album covers, including Cream's Wheels of Fire. I also studied illustration at the School of Visual Arts with Milton Glaser, founder of Push Pin Studios and known for his unusual and influential graphic design style and creator of the Big Apple logo. They gave me a strong design foundation, so I pay much attention to fonts, colors, composition, and design, whether doing a package design or creating a website.

Upon graduating from college, I moved to New York during a significant recession and finding a job was tough. Eventually, I found employment and worked in various design-related positions. I was a graphic designer at ABC Sports, an Editorial Artist at King Features Syndicate, and a Textile Designer using my illustration skills. After a few years, I moved to Boston, where I got a job as Director of Marketing for a chain of stores similar to the Gap. Not long after, I decided to start my own design and advertising boutique. There, I specialized in retail clients offering everything from graphic design to media buying to sales.

Part of my business was working with radio stations and buying airtime, which led me to a shift in my business. I realized that the radio stations could benefit from my services in creating promotions in conjunction with the retail clients. This birthed Woman at Work, an international marketing company creating promotions to boost listenership for radio stations. I was a bit of a pioneer because, at the time, it was pretty much a male-dominated industry, and all of my employees were women. The company grew and, after several years, became a multimillion-dollar company with around 13 full-time employees. Now keep in mind that this was all pre-computer/pre-internet, so life was completely different.

When QuarkXPress came out in the late '80s, I thankfully transitioned from manual graphic design to computer design, an incredible asset. Then, Adobe was released, I taught myself how to use all of the Adobe Suite Products, which I have continued to use and are assets in designing websites. A large portion of my business is still graphic design: logos, packaging, brochures, and anything requiring design.

Marketing in radio required knowledge of demographics and lifestyles as different radio formats appeal to various demos. My understanding of this has helped me today in social media, targeting audiences, and designing for specific audiences. I moved my company to the New York area due to changes in the broadcast industry and deregulation, but many things were changing in radio. I decided to redirect my marketing efforts back to small businesses, and in 2004, I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida.

Around this time, the internet was booming, and web design was flourishing. With my design and marketing background, it was a natural match. I briefly worked for an arts organization as Director of Marketing. I quickly connected with the community and built many valuable relationships that have been instrumental in growing my business. As a born entrepreneur, I soon left the organization to restart my marketing business, this time keeping it small and hiring freelancers as needed.


I

built my first website on iWeb, Apple's platform, around 2006. Boy, do I wish I had a copy of that site! I can only imagine what it must have looked like. As new platforms came out, I tried them to gain knowledge. I worked with several outlets, including Dreamweaver, Squarespace, and WordPress, but finding Wix was a dream come true.

I first used Wix in 2009. I didn't know much about it, but taught myself how to use it and connected with customer support in Tel Aviv. There was no large Wix Community then, and my primary contact was Yael in charge of client relations, and since we were all so new at it, we talked a lot. I became what was known as a Wix international Advisor. She would ask for feedback from me about the product, client requests, and issues building websites. A lot of my input was implemented and still part of the Editor today. There was even a forum where Wix users from around the world posted and communicated about their experience, jobs, questions, and support.

It has not always been a smooth road. The economy and industry changes have sometimes made it difficult. Still, the main thing I learned was to be adaptable and flexible and to continue to learn and keep up with trends and technology. Now, my business's focus at The Marketing Works of Palm Beach, is to create branding and marketing to improve my clients' visibility. What sets me apart is that I have a background in graphic design, art, and marketing to offer an aesthetic approach and a business approach to clients. I can look at the whole picture and not just make an attractive logo or website, but also has a marketing strategy behind it.

I still like to think of my company as a boutique. Why? Because I offer personalized services to my customers, whether they be holistic practitioners or real estate agents. Having studied yoga since high school, I am part of the holistic community. Much of my business focuses on alternative medicine and holistic lifestyle. However, I belong to many networking groups, so my clients also range from IT companies to pre-schools to cosmetics.


I have designed over 100 sites and no two of my sites are the same, each one with their own personality. As a Wix Partner, I can create websites worldwide and have clients from as far as Israel, Africa, Argentina, and locally. I am most proud of the integrity of my work. I am honest and blunt. If a client requests something that I don't think is professional or makes sense with their marketing goals, I let them know. I always try to do what is best for their business rather than just doing what they think they need.

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Can you giv

Hi Ilene, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking What a great question! Looking back on my career, I can certainly see that I have been a risk-taker, but I think it is just part of my makeup and not a conscious decision. I started my own business when I was 27. I had been director of marketing for a small chain of clothing stores, and frankly, I didn’t particularly appreciate having to report to a boss and attend so many meetings. So I decided to go out on my own and start an ad agency. I have just continued to leap into the next step trusting blind faith that I would succeed throughout my career. I have continued to grow my business over the past 30 years or so, and whether you call it drive or instinct, I guess you could consider it being a risk-taker.

Can you give e our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others? It has not always been a smooth road. The economy and industry changes have sometimes made it difficult, but the main thing I learned was to be adaptable and flexible and to continue to learn and keep up with trends and technology. The Marketing Works of Palm Beach creates branding and marketing to improve my clients’ visibility. What sets me apart is that I have a background in graphic design, art, and marketing to offer an aesthetic approach and a business approach. I can look at the whole picture and not just make an attractive logo or website, but also a marketing strategy behind it. I still like to think of my company as a boutique, where I offer personalized service to my customers, whether they be holistic practitioners or real estate agents. Having studied yoga since high school, I am part of the holistic community, and much of my business focuses on alternative medicine and holistic lifestyle. However, I belong to many networking groups, so my clients also range from IT companies to pre-schools to cosmetics. No two of my sites are the same, each one with their own personality.

I offer full-service marketing and design, whether the client needs a logo, package design, a social media strategy, or the main service I offer, web design. I can help them with a comprehensive marketing package. I love working with start-ups in helping get off on the right foot. I like to start with the logo design as it sets the tone and branding for the business. Once that is created, the rest can fall in place for future marketing and design. It is essential for branding to be consistent across all platforms, whether social media, website, or printed materials.

The primary platform I use for web design is Wix, and I have been using it for over ten years. I am a Wix Legend (a designation, but I love saying that as it sounds so funny!) and Agency Partner; I work with many product managers offering feedback about various new products, what clients are looking for, and my input on workability. As a Wix Partner, I can create websites worldwide and have clients from as far as Israel, Africa, Argentina, and locally. I am most proud of the integrity of my work. I am honest and blunt. If a client requests something that I don’t think is professional or makes sense with their marketing goals, I let them know, always trying to do what is best for their business rather than just doing what they think they need. I love the Wix Community and the support it provides, and how we are such a family. I have created over 100 sites for all types of services, products, and businesses.

Additionally, I am an artist creating in photography, mixed media, and installations (www.ileneadams.com) and am the co-director of Art Synergy, an art non-profit (www.artsynergy.org) supporting artists in South Florida. I live in Jupiter with my husband, two rescue dogs and a rescue cat. I have two daughters, one grandson, and another grandchild on the way

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?

I have been fortunate to have a lot of supportive people in my life. My husband of almost 33 years has always supported me both personally and professionally, no matter how crazy my ideas may have seemed. When we moved to Florida 17 years ago, I found the arts community here, and so many people in the community supported me and helped my business and art career thrive. I became very involved in the community and have been able to return the support to many artists through mentoring and advice. I also belong to several networking groups, and I have found that whether you are new to a community or a long time-member, these associations are very beneficial.

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That Users Will Probably Love, and Some Businesses May Absolutely Hate


New Google Algorithm

If your business lives and dies by Google search engine results -- if you at least in part make money based on Google search results -- this news is for you.

Google just announced it is in the process of implementing a major change to its core search algorithm that could change results rankings for up to one in 10 queries.

Yep: one in 10.

Which might not sound like much--unless your inbound traffic, and resulting sales and revenue, dips by 10 percent. 

The change is based on a simple premise. In the past, Google's algorithm treated a search sentence as a "bag of words." It picked out what it considered to be the important words--in "who is a great keynote speaker," clearly "keynote" and "speaker" are more important than "is" and "a." 

But doing so eliminates context from a search sentence's intent. 

One example from Google's announcement: Say you enter the search sentence "can you get medicine for someone pharmacy?"

The old algorithm picked out "medicine" and "pharmacy" and returned local results under the assumption you are looking for a nearby drugstore.

Google's new algorithm notices "for someone" and determines you're looking for information about whether you're allowed to pick up someone else's prescription for them.

Same search query. Very different results.

The new algorithm is based on something called BERT, or "bidirectional encoder representations from transformers." (Yep: BERT is a lot better.) In the simplest terms I can come up with, BERT is a tool that helps optimize natural language processing by using A.I. and a massive data set to deliver better contextual results.

Or in even simpler terms, it better understands what you're actually looking for when you enter a search query.

Another example Google shared: "Parking on a hill with no curb." The old algorithm reached into the bag of words and discarded "no," delivering a top result that referenced how to park on a hill with curbs. The new algorithm realizes "no" matters and delivers a top result showing how to park uphill or downhill with no curb.

And one more example: "2019 brazil traveler to USA need a visa." In the past, Google ignored "to" and returned results on U.S. citizens traveling to Brazil. But "to" clearly matters, and BERT picks up the difference, returning results for Brazilian travelers to the U.S.

Keep in mind only some search queries will be affected by the algorithm changes. And that determines


how the algorithm works is still something of a mystery even to the most dedicated SEO professionals. 

So if your site suddenly ranks lower for certain search terms, BERT might be to blame. Or maybe not.

Either way, according to Pandu Nayak, Google VP of research, "This is the single biggest ... most positive change we've had in the last five years and perhaps one of the biggest since the beginning."

Reason enough to watch closely for any changes to your search rankings and to spend more time analyzing keyword context, especially if you try to rank well for longer-tail keyword strings. And if your search traffic remains stable but conversion rates dip, that's obviously a sign at least portion of the traffic you receive isn't interested in what you provide.

And since it's likely to be impossible to truly optimize for BERT, make sure you create content for people, not search engines.

BERT is just another step in Google's effort to understand what people want when they search. The more you deliver what people want, the more likely you are to rank high in search results.

Because trying to "game" a system never works for long.

But providing genuine value does.


Inc. Magazine - By Jeff HadenContributing editor, Inc.@jeff_haden

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