Writing a book is a BIG deal!

I've worked with many authors over the years to help them bring their books to life. It's one of my favourite things to do. I love finding out all about their book, why they're writing it, who they're writing it for and what they imagine it will look like. Writing a book is like having a baby, it's a long and often painful process and can feel overwhelming.  You'll need an editor, and proof reader, a designer and a publisher. My role is the designer and the part I'm involved in is the artwork and design of your book cover (front, spine and back) and then the typesetting and layout of all your internal pages, including chapter headings, font selection, margins and line spacing, page numbering and table of contents. Once all that is done and approved by you, your book is then prepared for print and sent off to your publisher. If you have any questions or want to know what to do next, just give me a call and I'm happy to help. Below are just a couple of the books I've designed for other awesome authors. running-on-empty-thumb salt-of-the-sea zoesparksthumb-large

5 Ways to Self Promote

To promote any business successfully, the first thing you need to know is who you're talking to. Marketing your product or service to 'everyone' just doesn't work anymore, so the clearer you are about who your ideal client is, the easier it is to craft your message to address that person's needs and wants that are relevant to what you're selling. I'd like to share five effective ways to self promote that work for me.  
  1. Networking: One of the most effective ways to self-promote is through networking. When I began my business I knew that the only way to reach my ideal client on a local level was to meet face-to-face so that I could connect and build relationships. In the beginning I went to every networking event I could until I found one or two that I felt really comfortable in. Now I attend those regularly and actually enjoy it. To build relationships and friendships takes time, so commit to going every week, month or fortnight and you will see results, but it takes time and consistency. Once you're known within your network, other members will refer you too. Of course, it's good manners and good karma to do likewise and when you find the right network for you, that all comes very naturally. I currently am Leader at Key Business Network Centenary in Brisbane and we meet every Tuesday morning - you're welcome to come along!
 
  1. Social Media has been one of the best ways I've found to self promote in an organic and social environment. It's all about conversation, engaging in other people's discussions and generally being friendly and informative. Facebook is my favourite because it fits well with my time and because that's mostly where my ideal client is hanging out. There I get to chat, comment, talk about relevant events and meet new people. I treat my personal page as a place where I comment on my general every-day happenings, I don't write anything too personal there, after all this is a public forum and not the place to share really intimate information, but it is brilliant for connecting and keeping up to date with events and other people. My Sassy Branding business page is more about informing and sharing information for my followers about my business and services and cross-promoting other businesses and people I like. Social media gives you the opportunity to reach not only your local market, but national and international too! The best part? It's free!
 
  1. Blogging is another brilliant way to connect with your ideal client and share your knowledge, information and general thoughts. The more information and 'how to' knowledge you share with your followers, the more people will trust and remember you as a specialist in your field. While you're imparting your knowledge, you're attracting more followers and that's a great way to self promote in an informative and generous way.
 
  1. Websites are no longer expensive scary things, you can get a great website professionally designed and built for under $1,000 or a DIY WordPress site for less that $500. Have a look at www.bluedogdigitalmarketing.com.au for some great options and tell Clark and Tegan I sent you. WordPress is my pick because it's robust, easy to use and has endless options for plug-ins and functionality. I believe every business needs to have a web presence because that's the first place most of us go looking for information and services, so if you haven't got a website, you're missing out on massive opportunity to connect and promote yourself.
 
  1. Articles are a great way to impart your knowledge, gain respect and gracefully promote yourself in an organic natural way. Getting your articles into magazines that your ideal client is likely to read is a great way to share information that's valuable and fresh and relevant for the reader. It also helps to put you in a position of authority about your topic and raises your profile. Articles are also great foundations for future blogging topics because when you break it down into sections you can use each one for a blog!
In conclusion, it is easy to self promote online and offline with ease and grace. Take one step at a time, commit to consistency, and just be yourself!

Six Years of Sassying!

Six years of Sassying - Phew!   How the time has flown and oh my goodness, how much I have learned! They say the best personal development happens when you run your own business and I'd have to agree. It's a roller-coaster of highs and lows, challenges and moments of absolute joy.  You get it right? The sleepless nights, early mornings, overwhelm, exhilaration, endurance, exhaustion, passion... the list goes on. What drives us to keep going? What inspires us entrepreneurs to get back up every time we fall?  It all started for me about six years ago when I applied for (yet another) job and got it. So I delightfully resigned from the job I had and then about a week later I found out that the new job wasn't going ahead. Oh bugger! Here was a cross-roads and a decision to make and I was terrified and excited all at once. I recognised it as a big kick up the butt to start this business because the idea of it had been floating around me for so long and it wouldn't be ignored any longer. Intuition, gut feeling... whatever you want to call it, I knew it was time. So I took a breath, shut my eyes and jumped... So on the 1st of April 2010 Sassy Branding was born. It is honestly the best thing I've ever done, you see I have a free spirit and being in business has given me the ability to do it my way. I came into the business world at the perfect time because for me it's about energy and connection and relationships. I love the flow of business and that business people are embracing the concepts of integrity, honesty and passion. Marketing is more organic, social media (bless it!!) has changed the way we relate and communicate and it's been the best thing for small business and networking. We're learning and growing all the time. So what is it that inspires us? My business fuels my flame. I can't find one word that sums it all up, it feels like a burning or a desire to make a difference, to be seen and heard and help others do the same. I think I just love connecting with people, finding out people's stories and what drives them and being part of that. Whatever it is, I thank you for being part of my Sassy Branding story so far. Blissings, Jeanne x  

Better than a billboard – your vehicle could be your best advertisement!

I got a call about a year ago from a lady who was really excited to talk to me. She said she'd decided she wanted to find a graphic designer who would 'get her', someone who was intuitive and feminine and professional. Not long after she'd decided all that, she spotted my car on the highway and thanked her lucky stars for giving her the answer to her prayers. Who knew I could answer prayers? Guess what - we all can - it's just a matter of letting people find you.   So back to the story... She called me, we met for coffee, then a consultation. I read the draft of her book, we shared our stories, she came to my workshop, I designed the logo for one of her clients and now we're working together on the graphics and branding for a company she's founded AND we're friends who enjoy coffee catch-ups together. And all of that from simple signage on my car. Seriously it's better than a billboard! Much cheaper in the long run, it's mobile so it can be seen in all sorts of places and really easy to update if you need to. Red lights for me mean advertising opportunities! So if you're thinking about signage or better ways to promote, consider car signage because it really does work! - You do need to be nice on the roads though... My goal is to have a fleet of Sassy red cars buzzing around the country so keep an eye out! And if you need the artwork done for your car, call me! If you'd like to discuss your branding further or want some help with your graphics, contact me here and let's organise a time! Or coffee 🙂

Rinse and Repeat

Communicate your message consistently to connect with your clients authentically and create a thriving business naturally.
I was giving a talk the other night at a Business Brainstorming Meetup and the topic of marketing came up, as it always does. Marketing is intrinsically connected to graphic design and branding and it was interesting to note that most of the business owners in the room were overwhelmed with marketing their business. When we start our own businesses we do it because we're skilled at something and we want to share our skill to help others. What most of us don't realise is just how much time it takes to market and promote, whether that's through networking, advertising, social media, emails or website, it all takes up a tonne of time!  Trends are dictating that visual branding is more and more important, especially online, because everything we send out, post or print is first seen visually, and it's that first impression of your business that's so important. Communicate-your-message-sassybranding.com Social Media, although overwhelming and confusing at times, is a wonderful way to promote and market your business. Firstly it's free (unless you choose paid advertising) and the potential reach is huge. My best piece of advice to you is to be consistent in your graphics and stick closely to your branding. As tempting as it can be to change colours and update logos, it's advisable not to because it causes confusion and people won't remember you if you keep changing the way you look. It's about building trust, being reliable and professional. My role is to guide you and create the graphics that represent your business, but most importantly it's to make sure that everything you post or print is visually consistent and carries the same brand/colour/theme/look throughout. That's how you create a recognisable brand. Consistency is crucial. If you'd like to discuss your branding further or want some help with your graphics, contact me here and let's organise a time!

What’s a Favicon?

Sassy Tip!

One groovy way to reinforce your brand on your website is with a favicon. “What’s that?” you ask…  It’s a teeny weeny small little graphic of your logo, icon or a letter that represents your brand, and it shows up in the tab at the top of your browser when your website is open, like this... Favicons         On each tab you can see the Xero logo, the TLC logo, the Facebook Logo and Mine! So, if you haven’t got a Favicon, ask your designer to create it for you and then pop it into your website so that it’s easy to recognise and builds your brand even more. WordPress has a widget for favicon. Every little bit helps… that’s how you create consistency.  Have you got any other tips like this to share? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Crafting a Logo from Art

Many of my clients work within the healing and spiritual arena, and as such, I'm often asked to create a logo that’s a little bit 'left of centre'. You may know that I love to paint with pastel, and so I’ve found a way to merge my love of art and graphic design to create unique brands and logos for my clients. The following logo design is one of those creations. My friend Samantha works as a psychic medium and runs tours to Sacred Sites all over the world (what a life!). My mission was to develop a logo that depicts what Sam does and embrace her specific request for feathers, Stone Henge and her preferred fonts and colours. I’d be fibbing if I said it was easy, but after a lot of talking and spending time with Sam looking at images, trying pictures of this and placement of that, drinking wine and cups of tea, we finally managed to bring her vision to life. We found a photograph of Stone Henge that Sam liked, but we couldn’t find one in the purples and reds that she wanted. So, I painted it! Now she not only has a unique hand crafted logo, she has an original painting to hang on her wall - who knows, one day it might be worth a fortune - move over Picasso! hee hee... Inspired Soul Logo           Once the painting was complete, I purchased a vector stock image of a white feather and re-coloured in Sam's branding shades to suit. Each of the elements we’ve created have spiritual meaning for Sam, she was very specific about what she wanted so her input was essential to make sure she got it. Sam had already settled on the font style for her name, so that part was easy, I just had to re-shape it a little and incorporate it into the design. We’ve aligned the I with the spine of the feather and when we printed the business cards, the font 'Inspired Soul' was done in metallic silver.  It looks pretty spectacular! So, there’s the story of Samantha’s logo development for Inspired Soul Travel. It took a few weeks and a lot of concepts and ideas, many cups of tea and a couple of bottles of wine, but at the end of the day, Sam is very happy with the outcome, it’s exactly what she wanted and it makes her heart sing. It makes my heart sing too, to create something unique and specific that's aligned with my client's vision and brings their brand to life. Thanks for allowing me to share and I hope this has helped to show you some of the process involved in creating a brand... Ciao!    

Should’ve could’ve would’ve

Grammar GripeI’ve got a grammar gripe! I’m one of those peeps who get a bit “hot under the collar” about grammatical and spelling errors; Social Media, particularly Facebook, has made these blunders even more apparent, it’s amazing how many people can’t spell! Do you say “I should of” or “I could of” or “I would of”? If you do, stop it! I know that here in our great land of Oz (slang for Australia), we abbreviate a lot of words by joining them together, so it’s easy to hear things as they sound and then assume it’s right. Abbreviated its “I should’ve” or “I could’ve” or “I would’ve”. Sounds like ‘of’ doesn’t it? But ‘ve is short for ‘have’. So, here’s what it should be: Replace the word ‘of’ with ‘have’. So “I should have” or “I could have” or “I would have”. Ah, that’s so much better now… Leave me a comment and tell me your grammar gripe.