Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Long Haul!

I get clients all the time asking me.... now if I commit to you, are you committed to me? You don't plan on going and getting a full-time job anytime soon are you?

NOOOO!!!! I am a freelancer, technically, but I am striving for a full-time business and am in it for the long haul. I think freelancing/business owner is such a gray area when it comes to artists. I don't view my position as a freelancing one and am submerging myself into the business world. My business is all that I do, well, except for hanging out with my most adorable kiddos!

I love what I do and that is why I do it. I feel secure working from home and there are many benefits from it, that if you are a business owner, you are already familiar with. Don't get me wrong, the kids drive me crazy sometimes when I am juggling them and work, but they are the love of my life, along with my husband, of course. I will not be looking to get back into the commuter lifestyle anytime soon. I enjoy my job too much and how many people can truly say that?

I absolutely LOVE the dynamic of clients I get, I wouldn't be able to work with a doctor, a caterer, a painter, a food additives and preservatives company, a pet cemetery in most other design jobs. Full-time design work tends to focus on one industry or one aspect of design. I thrive on variety and being in charge my my time. If I feel creative at 2 am, then I get to truck down to the office and work, I am not under the 8-5 pm restricted work hours. I can be creative, when I feel it flowing through me. Cheesy Huh? but that is the way it works, and I feel that I am a better graphic designer and listen to my clients much better because of that.

So to answer the questions of all those wondering out there, I am not planning on getting a different job. I am going into my third year of business and have worked way too hard to give up on it for any reason, plus when the kids are in school, work is going to seem like a piece of cake!

www.tashaleedesign.com • tasha@tashaleedesign.com

Friday, January 23, 2009

Networking and Impressions

I go to a networking event this past week, as many of us do, not only to talk to others about what I do and spread my wings in the business world, but to get out and talk to real people. Being a one person office, sometimes I just need to hear something other than my own thoughts!

It is very interesting they way business owners act when there is competition strolling the room right along with them. We could all be adults about it and be friendly and polite and utilize each others knowledge or plainly just ignore the fact that there is competition standing right there.

OR.... we can be shouting across the room "You stay on your side and I will stay on my side {of the room}", What?!!? Are you kidding me?, would if the food is on "your" side, does that mean I can't eat? Other reactions that I have witness is blatant rudeness, as in, Person A sees Person B talking to a prospect that Person A has been trying to get "in" with, what is the best way for Person A to handle the situation? Well, by going over and shoving Person B aside and introducing him/herself to the prospect. Of course this tactic is the best way in getting business. Come on. I have also seen the angry stare, where you are literally burning a hole through your competitor or the "stick like glue" tactic, where you are glued to the competitor and preventing them from doing any networking at all. Way to make everyone around you feel awkward!

If you can not handle the competition in a respectful manner, than you should not subject yourself to a networking event, where said competition may be present. The shouting, the shoving, the stares and "sticking like glue" may have been all in good fun, BUT I know what impression s/he left on me, I can only imagine what impression s/he left on others in the room.

Think about it when you go to your next networking event and what impression you are leaving on others.

Contact Tasha for all your design needs • Tasha Lee Design • tasha@tashaleedesign.com

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Direct Mail: Is it Dying?

The Internet. The possibilities are endless. Social Networking, Podcasting, Blogging, Pay Per Click Campaigns, Site Optimization, and the list goes on and on. Why would anyone in today's world, market the old fashioned way? or is it old fashioned?

Direct Mail is proven to work, it is as simple as that. You can measure it, test it and see the results. Direct mail not only works business to consumer, but also business to business. When used in combination with email marketing and telemarketing, your results are more fulfilling that using just email marketing and telemarketing on their own. With the lower volumes of mail and creating a direct mail campaign that is targeted, your mail pieces are more likely to get noticed!

Young professionals 18 to 34 prefer to receiving mail versus email. Privacy was pegged as one of the leading factors. Email is so overused these days, as convenient and affordable as an email is, it is more likely to get looked over or thrown away if received at that one inconvenient moment.

Mail captures one in a private moment and can be looked at when they choose. Direct mail will reach those who do not spend their days online. Also, with direct mail it offers many advantages that other mediums do not: target ability, measurability, and a vast range of creative alternatives.

Get creative with your direct mail campaigns, make it different from everyone else. One thing that I use and my clients compliment me on all the time is 5x5 thank-you notes with rounded corners, I have found a vendor where I can get matching baby blue envelopes. Who doesn't like the appreciation? and the odd size is never overlooked.

• refer a friend campaigns
• come back, I beg you! {we haven't heard from you in awhile}
• can we help you afterall {contact clients that have inquired with you, but never made the purchse}
• send a free gift and make it clear on the outside that there is a *FREE GIFT* {one will be more likely to open the envelope}
• it's your birthday discounts