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
How to distinguish between a Word-Mark and a LogoDo I really need a logo? I’m often asked this question and the answer can vary depending on the type of business you have. It’s good to know exactly what a logo is before making that decision so let’s talk about the differences between a logo and a word-mark. A logo is a combination of stylised text plus an icon or symbol. If a symbol or a specific shape, image or picture is important to your brand, then the answer is yes, you DO need a logo! Check out the Woolworths logo, there’s an icon representing an apple as well as the name, so that makes it a logo.Most of us recognise the Dominos logo and that's because they've been around for a while. An icon without text isn't wise if you don't have strong recognition established. A word-mark is just your business name and is designed with a chosen font that represents the personality of your business, it's then designed into a graphic and stylized to take on a unique identity of its own. There are no other elements, just the word. Coca Cola is a good example of this, you can see how the font has been embellished to make it unique and recognisable. So, do you need a logo or a word-mark? What would be best for your business?
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.
I love my work and I'm good at what I do. I've spent more than 30 years and thousands of dollars learning to be good at it, I live and breathe it, and when I complete a project and hand over a brand new baby the thrill of seeing the smile on my client's face is worth all the hours of intense labour. Because together we've just given birth to a beautiful brand, a luscious logo with fitting fonts and captivating colours, something to be proud of that can grow and flourish with the business it represents.
When I create a brand, a website, a facebook cover graphic, book cover, business card or anything for that matter, it's not done lightly and haphazardly. It's created with intent, purpose and intuition. It's created to represent a business, a business that's close to my client's heart because it's their identity, the face of their business and something they're proud of. This is often a vision or a dream that's been brewing for a long time. Nothing in this world can replace the joy my clients express when they finally have a tangible identity they love. Nothing! It makes my heart sing. It's why I do what I do.
But there's one thing that makes me really really mad (and I don' get mad that often). It's when someone buggers up my design and instantly turns it into crap. It's like baking a beautiful cake, pouring all your love and energy into it to make it the best you possibly can, and just after you present it on a shiny silver platter someone comes along and stomps on it. It's like writing a beautiful letter to someone you love, carefully written, each line composed with meaningful words and hours of thought, then someone comes along and tears it up into tiny useless pieces. As Amanda Gore would say, just "STOP IT".
Bad design can devalue a brand in the blink of an eye and that's not good for business, so if you've invested serious time and money in having your branding created, don't let anyone bastardise it. Not your best friend, not your nephew and certainly not your mum (unless you're one of my kids - then it's OK).
I love to promote my clients, to show off their brands and feature them in my newsletter, on my website, my facebook and twitter pages BUT if they let an amateur bugger it up, they're off my page and my website in a flash! I am SO not proud of their brand any more. It's heartbreaking. I guess that's why a lot of designers won't part with the original artwork files, at the risk of their client or someone else messing with it.
What do you think? Does having Photoshop automatically make you a designer? I don't think so, just as owning a car doesn't make me a mechanic. Just stop it.
This Christmas saw the end of Santa in our family. The kids have grown up and Santa’s been replaced - with a Goddess.
Earlier in the year - this amazing year that brought a huge career change for me and so many beautiful people into my life - a friend referred to herself as a Goddess and I actually cringed. Yep, I thought “that’s a bit up yourself, to think of yourself as something ethereal, spiritual, god-like”. After all, we’re human right? Maybe my Catholic upbringing had something to do with my thoughts, but I really was taken aback.
Apart from massive career changes this year, I became a Reiki practitioner, I’ve attended a workshop called “Awaken your Intuition”, done “The Art of Public Speaking” seminar and yoga and meditation, and I’ve connected with a lot of spiritual and intuitive women. So, I figured there must be a message for me somewhere in there.
And in the quiet moments, early in the morning when the world was still asleep, or late at night when sleep eluded me, I came to an understanding that we are all gods and goddesses – I felt my soul shift and realised that my purpose, right here, right now, is to be the best I can be, to learn and to love. God is within us and we each have amazing powers to manifest whatever it is we want. Pretty awesome aren’t we?
It’s been a journey that began way back when, but I finally feel that I’ve ‘got it’ at last and although I still love the magic of Santa and all that he stands for, I’d much rather be a Goddess all year round.
Meet some other Goddesses, at enlightenedgoddesses.com.
Witching you a prosperous 2011 filled with love. Oh! Feel free to add your comment below...