I’m Focusing Exclusively On Brand Identity Design!

This is an exciting time for me! After 18 years as a freelance designer creating everything from brand identities to newspaper ads to direct mail promotions, I’ve changed my business model. I’m now focusing exclusively on brand identity design for small businesses and professional services — something that has been my passion for a long time.

Recently I've been working like a mad woman creating a major rebrand for my own business identity. (Can it really be considered work if you're enjoying every minute of it?) This has included learning to design beautiful websites in Squarespace. Many years ago, I remember saying “Oh I don’t need to learn how to create websites, I’ll only work in print.” That eventually returned to bite me. Thankfully, I’m now able to create a complete brand identity package for my clients in both print and web. 

Here's a bit of advice if you’re starting a new business, from one small business owner to another. Don’t be confused and misled by all the hype telling you to buy a website here and a logo there. When a hodge-podge of different design elements are purchased individually, they usually don’t communicate well together. Especially if there's not a brand design strategy in place for the designers to follow. Trust me, this will cost you money down the road. 

The very first step in building a brand for your new business, before buying a website, logo, or business cards from anyone, should be to have a professionally created brand design strategy. This strategy will help you and your designers to understand who your audience is, and what makes you and your product or service special. It will determine the all important brand message, and ultimately, the future success of your business.

May you have the best day ever,

Diana

Business Cards. Love Them And Leave Them.

I’ve attended networking events recently where I met a few young ladies who didn’t bring their business cards. Isn’t exchanging business cards one of the main ways of getting in touch with the new contacts you meet at these events?

One budding entrepreneur said she didn’t believe in using business cards, but instead told me to  connect with her on Facebook. After asking her to spell her name twice and still not getting it typed correctly into my Facebook app I just said “Thanks!” and gave up. I have no idea who she was, and it’s probably for the best. 

I’ve even seen it asked on social media if business cards are relevant today. Of course they are!

If you are serious about your business, one way to show it is by investing in quality business cards. Cards today are inexpensive to print digitally and with excellent results. Even so, many cards that I receive are hard to read and gaudy. Business cards are a direct reflection on a business, so this is not the place to be cheap—hire a professional graphic designer.

It’s often said that your logo is the face of your business. I like to think of the business card as the company car you would drive to pick up important clients in from the airport.

My question to you is “are you driving a Mercedes or a Kia?”

Will Facebook Pages Continue To Be FREE?

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, is scheduled to appear before Congress this week to answer questions about the misuse of our personal data. 

So, what’s going to be next with Facebook? Will business owners have to start paying for their Pages? Or, with Facebook encouraging the purchase of Facebook ads and also adjusting algorithms, will these Pages just not have the reach they once did — unless their "owners" buy into Facebook marketing?

Don't promote your business on Facebook Pages expecting it to be free forever. Facebook is a business and businesses exist to make money. Beware putting ALL of your time, energy and hope into a social platform that you have absolutely no control over, and that could change tomorrow. 

“You know, I’ve seen a lot of people walkin’ ‘round
With tombstones in their eyes
But the pusher don’t care
Ah, if you live or if you die

– "The Pusher” by Steppenwolf, 1968.

Keep Your Eye On The Prize.

There is a tremendous amount of online hype encouraging the owners of small businesses to create their own marketing materials. Why would anyone want to do that? 

I recently read about an attorney who learned HTML, CSS, Javascript, and Adobe Photoshop, then spent months building his website himself. That’s time he could have been networking to grow his business and billing clients. The amount of money he saved couldn’t possibly have been more than what he lost in time and potential earnings.

To be successful, stay focused on what you do best, which should be running your business, and hire professionals for everything else.