I've been working with a business coach for the past two months and have met with some wonderful, new people during that time. I meet a gentleman who does a series of taping workshops. He introduced himself to me and gave me a simple flyer promoting his next workshops. He didn't know what I did for a living yet, but once he found out I was a graphic designer, I could see his face change, wondering how I felt about the layout of his flyer. It's happened before. Many people will spend hours working on a piece to save some money, but it may do more harm than good in promoting your business. In this case, his flyer was nice. I was surprised to find out recently that it took him SEVEN hours to layout it out, valuable time that could have been used to work on his business.
The day that we met and he handed me that flyer, I received a call from him later that day to have the flyer redone - which lead to other work, creating his brand.
There are many things that I have learned in my career and one of them is knowing your limits. Making the decision to hand off things that you think will be easier for you to do is a difficult thing sometimes, but think of how much time you will save in the process. So, the next time you need that design work done, say to yourself, "Will my design best reflect my business?" and "What is a better use of my time?"
Would you rather order chicken soup or all-natural chicken soup with a delicately seasoned broth, homemade egg noodles and organic vegetables? Whether you're creating content for a restaurant menu or for an online store, it can mean the difference between making a sale and losing a potential long-term customer. Write copy that inspires, using descriptive words that capture the essence of a dish or the beauty of a floral arrangement.
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So there’s this little company called Apple. They didn’t get to be who they are by copying from the next guy and playing it safe. Steve Jobs pushed the limits, dared to be different, and it paid off exponentially. Do the same. Don’t be a lemming and follow in the same footsteps as the guy next to you. Stretch the boundaries, trust your gut, bend the norm, and set yourself apart from the rest.
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People often cringe when they hear you're in marketing. Why? Well, if we're honest (and we are) many companies airbrush their way to making millions of dollars, using smoke and mirrors to sell something they can't back up. Good marketing starts with creating relationships, being as transparent as possible, and telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. (Manta.com)
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It doesn't pay to be a recluse if you're in business. Get out there and mingle! Often times in business it's all about who you know, so start shaking hands with the best of them. Participate in your local Chamber of Commerce or, if you're in Albuquerque, take part in First Tuesdays and start creating a vast network of other business owners in your community.
Ben Franklin certainly made a good point when he said, "investing in knowledge pays the best interest." So as you're relaxing by the pool this summer, consider putting down the People magazine and putting your nose into a good business book. Being a business bookworm can be beneficial to your company and leave you with a few ideas for your next big project. Books like "The Business Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained)" by DK Publishing will get you thinking about some great business concepts that even the spectacled Founding Father would be impressed with. (Manta.com)
If you can't afford to put your logo on a Formula One race car or have a banner hanging at a Yankees game, you could sponsor a local little league or soccer team. It's a great way to get your name out there, and make a difference in your community. Picture it--a gaggle of kids running around all summer with your logo on the backs of their jerseys. It's a win, win! (Manta.com)
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Just like when we ask our friends if our spiffy outfit looks good--the same should be asked of our websites. Second opinions on how things look can save you from embarrassment, and help get you right where you need to be. There are online tools that analyze websites and can give you the insight you need to move to the next level. Anything from content, blog entries and social media sharing buttons, getting the second opinion you were thinking of is just a click away!
“People forget how fast you did a job – but they remember how well you did it” - Howard Newton
I am hearing many stories this week as I am picking up new clients (yay!) and I am surprised at the stories. Creating for a client is exactly that - it's for your client. When you are hired to develop something for someone else, it is about providing them with the best experience during the process. Nowadays people are nickeled and dimed left and right. The same should NOT be said when they hire a designer to develop a brand for their company. Know what you want to charge and stick with it. You know what your time and talent is worth. Present it upfront and don't create a "hidden fees" philosophy in your business. Let them remember you for the quality of your work.
JUST A TIP: Read the fine print when it comes to logo design. Some businesses who create your logo will include major tie-ins that allow them to hold your artwork hostage, so you have no choice but to stay with them, even it you don't want to. When working with a designer, make sure you understand what rights are included with the creation of your logo. You never know where the future might lead, but you know you want to take your graphics with you, wherever you may go!
If I can help a business owner create the brand they're looking for, my job is done.