If you do work for various clients like I do then you feel the need to archive the work once in a while. I have to set aside time to do it weekly, otherwise, it gets to be pretty cluttered, whether on the hard drive or in my storage areas. Plus it’s a good practice to return the archived work to the client for their records as well. Some take it on a CD or thumb drive, some like it in a zipped file provided via FTP or similar in my case.
It’s an Easily Forgotten Task
I have had clients who wanted something a previous designer worked on updated by me but that were never provided with the final files. It’s not a good reflection on that designer and it makes my job harder. But I can understand how it happens. Clients rarely know what files will potentially be needed by future vendors. Therefore they leave it up to us to know and make sure they get what they paid for. After a project is complete though, it’s hard to remember who needs what and to keep track of getting it to them in a timely manner. In other words, it could easily fall through the cracks! Do you have a system for archiving jobs? Does it work well for you and your clients? Let me know in your comments below.
Thinking about who to approach to grow your business can be tricky. I’ve been reading up on it lately and I came up with 5 steps to do it for my own business. But for example purposes, I’m going to use myself as the best or ideal client for a business that say, sells makeup.
The business owner first thinks I want to sell makeup to everyone!
But wait, only some people wear makeup. So drill down to everyone who wears makeup.
If I were the target though I won’t buy just any makeup. If you drill down to just people who wear makeup with natural ingredients then you’d get my attention.
Still, if I’m a busy entrepreneur I will be looking either online or in a natural food store, I’m already in, buying other products.
So to target someone like me your product has to have natural ingredients and preferably be sold in a natural food store. Simple right?
How do you find your best client? Let me know in the comments below.
If you’re like me and are a visual person then Pinterest will be for you. I was introduced to it by a fellow Graphic Designer at my previous job and I took to it right away. I often do searches on it because the many visuals that come up make it easier to choose the link most likely to answer my query. When I find something out that others might find useful too and that I may want to refer to later I post it on one of my boards. If you’d like to visit my boards and perhaps follow me there this link will take you to one I created on Design: http://www.pinterest.com/pmcreedon/design
It’s the time of year when I realize that if I want the silver to look shiny again I’d better polish it. We have accumulated a lot as most of the rest of the family on both sides have left or given it all to us, not wanting the hassle of cleaning it themselves. But I love shiny objects and it’s worth it to me to take the time to get that shine.
My parents got this for their 25th Anniversary. It could use a lot of shining up!
In business, though shiny objects refer to those ideas that get our attention to the detriment of the goals we’re striving for. If you have lots of great ideas it can happen a lot! I know in my case that it’s a real challenge. So I am working on narrowing down my focus to be the go-to graphic designer for Wealth Managers that need to publish white papers and books to demonstrate their thought leadership. I can still work with all kinds of other clients if they fit my schedule and skill set of course. However, the website, emails and other marketing I end up doing should be centered on that goal. If you fit that description please get in touch! If you aren’t in that category get in touch too and I’ll see if I can help or know someone who can.
I know you are on the web and findable on Facebook as well as other social media sites but do you have a business card? If not then consider getting one tailored to your brand so that it’s handy to give out when face to face with a client prospect or anyone you want to stay connected with.
I mention it because I have been handing mine out over the last few months and realized that I’m almost out. Before creating the final file though I made sure to get a company email address to look more professional. All the emails will still go to my mac.com address but I now feel more committed to the business I started back in 2010!
Here are examples of three I’ve designed recently for clients:
Ever find yourself going along, as usual, making plans, carrying them out, making more plans, then suddenly you hit a roadblock? It’s like the time I went to my favorite ice cream shop to buy my favorite ice cream pie and I found it had been replaced by a running shoe store! So I did the next best thing, I bought running shoes! I had a moment of frustration then a moment of clarity. It occurred to me that I really needed new sneakers and I didn’t need ice cream 🙂
It was a good decision. Later on, I hit another roadblock when a fulltime position I had been in for five years was eliminated in company-wide layoffs. That gave me the incentive to concentrate on my growing business fulltime! It was alarming in its abruptness but once I got past that I was really excited about the new life I could begin. Plus those sneakers came in handy since I get to take walks in them every day, as I make my own schedule now.
When have you ever run into roadblocks in life and had to rethink your plans? Did it alarm or frustrate you? Were you able to roll with it? How has it changed things?
I like being there for fledgling and established small companies that are at the crossroads trying to build something good. I can relate because I am working at doing that myself!
I was driving down a highway one morning recently when I saw a tractor on the grass that had been left there, probably by whoever had been cutting the grass with it. It was a distinctive green color so I thought, “that must be a John Deere tractor”. From where I was passing at a good clip, there was no way for me to know for sure what brand of tractor that was, except by the color. What a great idea for that company to have branded with that distinctive color.
With clients, I worked with at an agency, keeping color consistency for their brand was a must. Major brands know that their particular color very effectively sets them apart, either in the supermarket aisle or in ads, signage, and in the rest of their collateral.
Logo design for packaging using green for a 14-day challenge promotion
So when I work with my clients at Pat Creedon Design, I suggest that they consider color in their branding, it can get attention as well as an immediate association with your company if used consistently over time. Their color can then help grow their small brand into a bigger one and even a trusted one over the long term!
When it comes to graphic design help for your business, why limit yourself? I recently worked on logos, handouts, flyers, invitations, PowerPoint presentations, white papers, nametags, car magnets, direct mail, email marketing campaigns, and business card designs. Not to mention a 175-page book.
Over the course of my career, I never limited myself when it came to designing whatever was needed. I got to try my hand at all kinds of graphic design projects, from tiny toothbrush package inserts to giant building-sized billboards. I’ve even designed the panels of trucks a couple of times.
Having worked successfully on all of these projects gives me a breadth of experience I can bring to my current and future clients, no matter what graphic design needs they have for their businesses.
We visited a garden over the weekend. We belong to The Garden Conservancy and so we hear about local homeowners who have opened up their gardens to the public on certain days of the year. This local garden has acres and acres of woods with all kinds of daffodils in bloom.
A couple stopped my husband and I and asked if this was created recently or over a number of years. I said that we had been coming to visit it when it was open for over ten years. It was like this then but has grown. They’ve added more trails and more daffodils over the years making it worth coming back to year after year. They were so impressed with our knowledge when we answered some more of their questions that they joked that they wanted to offer us a tip!
This garden was designed to grow, bringing serenity and awe to many. I aim to do that with graphic design for businesses I work with now and for years to come!