It's time to close the doors and move on, so I'm taking this opportunity to acknowledge my beautiful business Sassy Branding and all she's given me over the past seven years. Sassy Branding has been such an intrinsic part of me. Born from an idea, a flutter of a possibility and dreams bigger than I thought I could realise, Sassy Branding has helped me to create and be part of many amazing business communities, she's propelled me into achieving things I never thought possible, she's brought hundreds of people into my world and taught me many lessons in faith, courage, hope, dismay, patience, creativity, wonder, sorrow, friendships, business and life. She occupied my thoughts every minute of every day and I am so proud of what I created. Today I want to acknowledge Sassy Branding for supporting me financially, emotionally and creatively, bringing my dream to life and pushing me to learn and grow and expand. It's been an amazing seven years and I thank her for all she's been to me. To my clients and colleagues I say thank you, for trusting me with your branding and design, for your referrals and friendships. Coming to this decision hasn't been an easy path but it's time to let go and move on. And I'm ready. With gratitude and love, Jeanne
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.
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.
- 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!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
How can you build a successful business, promote and market and find clients without spending a fortune? Here's how I do it... First up - you need to decide who your ideal client is and where they hang out. Once you know that ,you can choose how to reach them Network. When I first started Sassy Branding I knew that my ideal client was the small business owner and the best way to find them was to network. Yes Networking does cost money, but it's essentially the only thing I actually spend money on and it's worth every cent - if you do it right and choose the right networks. There are a lot out there so attend a few and see what works best for you. And, this is really important, don't expect referrals and work immediately! Networking takes time and commitment, following up, turning up, giving and being your own lovely self. Social Media. I've been active on Social Media (mostly Facebook and more recently LinkedIn) for about 7 years now. I personally really like it, I like posting, sharing information, promoting my business and keeping in touch with my people. That's where they hang out, so I do too. Join groups where your clients are and participate in conversations and theme days. It's about building relationships and trust, so even though it won't cost you money, it does require time and energy. Build a Database (or List). I use Mailchimp and initially it's free. Once you get more than 200 subscribers it costs about $15 per month. Building a list doesn't happen over night but it's definitely worth the effort. You can build your list with a subscription option on your website (I offer a Free e-book and in exchange people enter their name and email address). I have a few different lists, including people who have subscribed, people I've met at networking events, people who have attended my own events and my precious clients. I don't send newsletters very often but I am aiming for once a month. This keeps me in touch with people and reminds them that I'm around. Hopefully you'll think of me first when you need my services. These are the three main ways I market my business, but as I said it depends on where your ideal client can be found. Once you figure out where they are, you'll know where you need to be. 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! Oh! and if you want to find a great Business Network in Brisbane check out Key Business Network - we are leaders at the Jindalee Group, we meet every Tuesday morning and we love visitors!
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
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 🙂
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. 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!
How to Make a Memorable Visual Brand A Visual Brand is a combination of elements that create a unique ‘look’ that represents your business. It’s the first impression that people have of your business so when developing a visual brand it’s important to represent your business in its truest light so that at first glance it communicates your style and personality. A memorable brand is developed over time through repetition and consistency. It’s vital to remain true to your brand so that it retains its integrity and the only way to do that is to make sure the elements your choose remain grouped and solid in every instance. Following are the five elements that build a strong visual brand:
- Logo – A logo gives you a foundation to build a brand on. When developing your logo, consider things like the shape and layout and how it will fit into different scenarios. For instance, will it sit well on your website header in a horizontal space, or within a square shape, like a pinterest graphic? Ask your designer to give you a selection of layouts so that you have a logo that will adapt to different shaped spaces without need to stretch or warp. Make sure you love your logo and don’t settle for something that doesn’t make your heart sing because you’ll be looking at it for a long time.
- Colour – this is probably THE most important aspect of your visual brand. Colour will dominate your brand, no matter where you put it. The colours you choose can be in the background and sit behind your logo, or they can be part of your logo. Choosing one dominant colour will make your brand powerful and eye-catching. Too many colours can be confusing and distracting, so go and google ‘colour theory’ and find out what colour would be best for your type of business.
- Font – fonts have personality and can say a lot about you and your business. The font you choose largely communicates the style of your, whether it’s informal, corporate, fun, casual, professional etc. TIP: Ask your designer to supply you with the font and to make sure the fonts are converted to paths on your logo files (if they’re not converted and you send the logo to say, a sign writer, and they don’t have your particular font installed on their computer, the font will convert to something generic like arial or courier).
- Background elements – Now that print isn’t the only way to promote and we have access to a plethora of images and backgrounds online, it means that your brand can take on a life of its own with the use of background images and designs. Subtle or strong, a background effect can impact on the look and feel of your brand and helps to create a style that’s unique and individual. Examples of backgrounds include photographs of scenery, patterns and textured images such as timber, sand, hessian or stone. You could have your designer create a customized background graphic with colour and shapes. You’re only limited by your imagination and plenty of ideas and inspiration can be found on stock photography websites. TIP: Always create your own images, take your own photos or buy stock images.
- Photograph – whether you’re a small business or larger, the relevance and importance of having professional photographs is rising. People (your clients) want to connect with people (you) and the best way to do that in your marketing and advertising is to add your photo to the mix. It may feel a bit daunting at first, but you’d be surprised at how effective it is. Including your photo inspires trust from prospective clients and also adds value so that when you’re speaking on the phone or online, that person already feels like they know you. Spend the money on professional photos and make sure you update them every year or two.
We're all cutting corners of late, trying to stretch the dollar further and get as much bang for our buck as we can. It's so easy to whip up a quick business card and order it online for a few dollars - but really, how often are you totally 100% happy with the outcome? Do you feel proud to hand out your business card or a little bit embarrassed? Maybe you're doing more damage than good. First impressions count, especially because we're living in a visual world and we're all influenced by what we see, read and hear. I get it, really I do. It's expensive to brand a business. But wouldn't you rather work with someone who actually cares about your business and understands what you're aiming for? What if you had a skilled graphic artist who 'got' you and wanted to help you grow and develop your brand for as long as it needs to take? If you work with me, step by step over time, we can create and develop your brand so that it will always be consistent, beautiful and effective. Everywhere, online and offline. I've worked with some clients for years and we're still going, doing bits and pieces, here and there, as they can afford it and as their business changes and grows. I'd love to help you do that too, so let's talk about how we can work together and build you a strong and memorable brand that you'll be proud of. Imagine handing out a business card that you feel really proud of. It's a good feeling! Call me today, let's talk.
How do you decide on the best colours for your logo? There are no hard and fast rules, but knowing something about colour theory and which colours work well together can save you a whole lot of time and money when you’re creating your logo and brand. Although there are countless combinations of colour available to us, there are two types of theories to keep it simple and easy. They are complementary and harmonious. Let’s discuss each: Complementary Colours Complementary colours are those that sit opposite each other on the colour wheel. Say, for instance, that you really want to use blue in your branding and you’re not sure what other colour would work well with it. For a complementary blend, you’d choose orange. Remember the old Telstra combination? That particular blend is corporate and communicates professionalism and success. Of course then you can use different levels of saturation so that you might use a sky blue with a terracotta orange, or a deep blue with fluorescent orange. Changing the tone of the colours can completely change the feeling, or mood of your branding. There are three basic complementary colour blends that will always work well together, they are: • Blue and Orange • Red and Green • Yellow and Purple. Notice that each of these three blends consists of a primary colour (red, blue and yellow) and a secondary colour (orange, green and purple). Blending two primaries together creates secondary colours, for example green is made with blue and yellow. Analogous or Harmonious Colours Using three colours that sit next to each other on the colour wheel creates harmonious colour blends. This combination gives a more gentle and softer brand and is most commonly used for businesses associated with health and nature. An example would be the use of blues and purples; the colours are similar and have a common primary colour (blue). Rule of thumb is to choose one dominant colour, a second colour for support and a third for an accent. Another way to decide on the brand colours most suited to your type of business is to look at the attributes of colours, their meaning and how your audience interprets them. Here are seven colours and their attributes. Red is the colour of passion, it stands for power, love, energy and fun. If your business is all about enthusiasm and action, then like Coca Cola, red is a great choice for you. Blue indicates trust, reliability and intelligence. Think IBM; it’s corporate, confident and professional. Other attributes of blue include loyalty, peace and authority. Green is for growth, organic, natural, fertility and relaxation. That’s why green is used a lot in beauty and wellness branding, it’s the colour of youth, luck and healing. Yellow is sunny, happy and bright. Think energy, joy, warmth and intellect. Yellow is often used in children’s branding, it’s a primary colour, the colour of creativity and light. Purple is rich, luxurious and wealthy. Purple is also the colour of spirituality and magic, it’s mysterious and inspiring with a touch of soul. Purple is a great colour for those businesses in spirituality and connected-ness. Orange is a strong colour, its attributes are determination and potency, success and vitality. Orange is encouragement and productivity and suits businesses that are strong and proud. The French love orange. Pink is the feminine of colours, it exudes calm, stillness, serenity and peace. It’s caring, accepting and loving. That’s why pink is often the chosen colour for women’s health brands such as the National Breast Cancer Foundation. With just this basic understanding of the psychology of colour and the combinations that work best together, you will find that developing your brand and choosing your colours will be a lot easier and clearer.