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 🙂

How to get more likes on Facebook

Sassy Branding“I know Facebook can be good for business, but I don’t know what to say…” sound familiar? Facebook is all about being social, that’s why it’s called Social Media. There’s no need to be stuffy and boring when you’re sharing information and news on your business page, just be yourself. People want to connect with people, that’s why it’s important to be social, transparent and engaging. Still sound too hard? OK, try these steps… Show your personality: Inject a bit of humour into your posts, be a little bit vulnerable and share some daily experiences. That doesn’t mean telling us what you had for breakfast (unless it was something amazing in an exotic country), but things that make your heart sing. For example, I recently toured Italy with my art tutor and classmates, and we painted every day in the local Italian towns (I had to keep pinching myself – it was AMAZING!!), so I shared some of my musings and photos about that trip. The response was great, for some people it brought back memories, others were inspired to travel and others talked about their desire to paint, or dance or sing… Your vulnerability gives others permission to do the same and share their thoughts and feelings. Share your knowledge: Tell us why you’re the expert in your field. Share stories of encounters with clients, talk about the great outcomes you’ve had and really importantly, tell us how your clients have benefitted from your services or products. Post testimonials. Give us some tips that are relevant to what you offer. For example, I have a ‘Tip of the Day’ and post one sentence that might be useful to someone out there, such as “Use white vinegar to wash windows, it’s cheap, environmentally friendly and works a treat!” If you don't have any tips, jump on to google and find some. Use images: Images are powerful and a great way to engage people. It’s statistically proven that pictures and graphics get more likes and comments than plain text. Personally I like to use both and when I do post images, I mostly use ones I’ve created myself and try to make sure my branding is on it somewhere. So now you’re thinking; “Well it’s alright for you, you’re a designer” – true that. But there’s a groovy little program called picmonkey, it’s free and easy to use to make your own graphics. Go on, give it a try! See that pretty quote up there on the left? I posted that graphic on Facebook the other day and it got more than 50 shares… what a great way to organically promote your business! There are heaps of other ways to engage and connect on Facebook, but try these for starters and see how you go. Oh, and the other thing that’s really important is consistency. Post at least once a day. It’s the same principle as branding, the more you do it, the more people will get to know you, trust you and share your stuff. Mix it up, be creative and have fun! Have you got any other ideas? Share them here... Back to Previous Posts

Three Bs for a Beautiful Brand

Letter BMy sister's a graphic designer, just like me. In fact she inspired me most to start my own small business, she's a wonderful mentor, younger than me, but so much wiser!

Last week she put a post on facebook about a new client who had come to her for a quote for a website - that's fairly normal in our profession - but when she delved deeper (well, not that deep really) it became apparent that this client didn't have a business yet, nor a business name, she didn't have products or clients and wasn't sure what a blog was. She just had an idea. Needless to say this makes a designer's job very difficult. So my sister stated that before a client comes to her for a quote, they need to have the three B's (at least). I agree. Here they are:

A Business - one can't sell or serve without an actual business. This means having a business name, trade marking that name or logo, registering the name, and buying a domain. I didn't say it was quick and easy, but having these things in place before you go getting websites and business cards is important. This is the foundation stuff. There's a lot more to it on an emotional level too, but I'll save that for another day.

A Brief - we designers like to know as much as possible about your business. Not only do we make things look pretty, we also need to know things like who your target market is; including their gender, age and profession, what your product or service is, how you plan to reach your market, what makes you different to everyone else doing a similar thing. A design brief should contain all of that information as well as things like the colours you want to use and why, the style of your business (corporate, spiritual, alternative, healthy etc) and the moods you want to convey through your branding. I know!! We're nosy people us designers, but in the end you'll get a design that's created specifically for your business, not some random generic logo you got online for five bucks that Bob over the road could use.

A Budget - You need to know how much money you can commit to your design project because us designers can generally tailor a package to suit or offer payment plans. Lots of people shy away from talking about money but it's important to get that sorted from the start. Then there are no nasty surprises and everyone's happy. I generally give a fixed price quote because that's what I prefer myself. Hourly rates are too varied and it can blow out really fast, so a fixed price is much better for you - often not so good for me, as design work is incredibly time consuming and can go on and on - but them's the breaks.

So, if you're thinking about a website or a logo, answer the above questions first and you'll be off with a flying start. I'm more than happy to have a chat if you want to know more and would love your comments below.

Blog Challenge Day # 22 – Promote your business with a free QR Code

QR CodeHave you got yours yet?

This is a QR Code and it’s the new way to promote your website or to share your contact details and promotions.

It’s scanned by an app on your mobile phone and instantly shows your website address and contact details - you can choose which when you register. QR Codes are appearing on billboards, buses, business cards and all sorts of signage and advertisements – even t-shirts!

I've made a little video so you can see how it works...

Go to to get yours. It's free!!

Blog Challenge Day # 6 – Marketing with honesty

Facebook Icon6 January 2011

Have you heard the hype about social media of late? Seems it’s the new way to market your business, build relationships and create an online presence. Not to mention keeping in touch with long lost friends, finding relatives who might, one day, leave you their millions and spying on your children.

Last month I took myself off to a facebook workshop – who would’ve thought we’d be educating ourselves to communicate via typing as fast as possible over long distances and mostly to people we’ve never actually met in person! I know, I sound like my grandmother, but really, who would’ve thought?

Anyway, you can ‘poo poo’ facebook and twitter and all the other social media sites as much as you like, but in reality it really is the best way to advertise and connect. Seriously! I love it, I really do! I can’t wait to learn more and then I can help my own clients with their FB profiles.

Since I’ve ventured into facebook and twitter my business profile has been exposed to a lot of people and new clients have found me, some I’ve never met in person. It works, and the part I love most is being able to recommend other people’s businesses. Here’s an example: I designed a flyer for a lady who was referred to me by my brother after I’d done some pro bono work for his fundraising venture, anyway, I posted on FB that I’d designed the flyer for my new client and added a link to her website recommending her beautiful gift hampers. A FB friend of mine saw my comment, followed the link to the gift hampers website and bought a hamper! She was delighted with the service, price and quality and then commented a few days later on FB about how happy she was. That sort of exposure is priceless! And you know what? It’s all based on trust; my friend trusted my recommendation and bought the hamper because she knew me.

Paying it forward is the most important part. Another example: A friend of mine (who I’d never met in person at that point) started up a facebook page that promoted local businesses. She wrote a post about my business, from that I got a phone call resulting in a new client who I’ve since done a lot of work with. It didn’t cost me a cent!

That’s why it’s important to be trust worthy, reliable and authentic. So, if you’re not already tweeting on twitter and posting on facebook, get to it and do it! Be consistent, honest, friendly and professional. Show off a little so people can see what you do, it’s OK to brag - I did just the other day and have had two calls already from people who want facebook Welcome pages designed!

It’s worth it, really. Do it with pride and remember to pay it forward and if you’re going to spy on your kids, don’t write on their wall. Here's a little video with stats - well worth the 3 minutes it takes to watch. Have a happy day!

See you there!