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  

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.

I’d rather be a Goddess

Goddess of FireThis 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...