September 27, 2016

FEATURED DESIGN PROJECT: Child Welfare Services Brochure

Filed under: Featured Design Project — Tags: , , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

VOA of Illinois Child Services Brochure
I’ve been working with Volunteers of America of Illinois to develop marketing materials that are more cohesive and consistent with their mission and brand. This is the third in a series of brochures I designed to highlight and promote their programs, this one is for their child welfare services foster parent program.

See the entire series of program brochures I designed for Volunteers of America of Illinois.

Volunteers of America of Illinois is a national nonprofit organization providing local human service programs for veterans, the homeless, children and the elderly. Learn more about them here.

September 22, 2016

What’s my story?

Filed under: Featured Design Project — lidia @ 10:00 am

Lidia Varesco Racoma on The Story Exchange

I recently shared my story on The Story Exchange as part of their 1,000 Stories campaign featuring women with businesses, social enterprises, and nonprofits.  As a mom in business who works with nonprofits and social enterprises, I was thrilled to be a part of this community.

I talk about how I started my branding and marketing design studio, what my challenges are (hint: they involve businesses and kids!) and how I define success.

Read the full interview on The Story Exchange.

September 21, 2016

FEATURED DESIGN PROJECT: Benefit Invitation Branding & Design

Filed under: Featured Design Project — Tags: , , , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

RSSI Benefit Invitation Design

I worked with Renaissance Social Services (RSSI) to develop branding for their annual fundraising benefit event—which happens to be held right here in my West Loop neighborhood (at Wishbone Restaurant, one of my faves!) Our goal was to express their theme while getting across the organization’s important mission.

I designed the event logo, invitation, mailing envelope, reply card and envelope, and email graphics.

Buy tickets to the event on Sept. 26.

RSSI aims to find safe and secure housing for the men, women and families and to provide them with the services they’ll need to lead lives of health, dignity and stability.

September 16, 2016

10-Minute Marketing: Make your “Top 3” to-do list

Filed under: 10-Minute Marketing — Tags: , , , , , , — lidia @ 11:19 am

10-Minute Marketing: Make your “Top 3” to-do list

I’m a major list maker. I love making to-do lists and I especially love checking things off my to-do lists. However, because of my creative, spontaneous brain, I tend to make my to-do lists very long and detailed (don’t even ask how many side projects I’m working on). This can cause me to lose sight of the more important tasks.

That’s why I start each day with a “Top 3” to-do list: 3 things I must accomplish in that day. I jot these down on my calendar and refer to them when my creative brain starts to wander. BONUS: you are almost certain to check them off, i.e. get that great feeling of accomplishment!

This week’s 10-Minute Marketing task:

Make your “Top 3” to-do list.

10-Minute Marketing is a weekly series featuring short, easy-to-accomplish marketing tasks. Follow the series here.

September 14, 2016

Branding, babies & burnout: my 15-year entrepreneurial journey

Filed under: Biz Mama — lidia @ 10:00 am

Lidia Varesco Racoma on the Eric Olson Show

I was recently a guest on The Eric Olson Show, a podcast featuring startup and established entrepreneurs.

Eric and I spoke about my 15-year entrepreneurial journey, including topics such as creating and using a mission statement, tips for overwhelmed working parents and my fun antidote to burnout. Plus hear my top branding tip that you can implement right now.

Listen to Episode 43 of The Eric Olson Show on iTunes.

Read the show notes.

 

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September 9, 2016

10-Minute Marketing: Save screenshots of your online press mentions

Filed under: 10-Minute Marketing — lidia @ 10:00 am

10-Minute Marketing: Save screenshots of your online press mentions

It’s exciting to be mentioned in blog posts, magazines and other online features. But unlike print, they are not permanent. Blogs shut down and web pages get deleted, which is why I make a practice of saving screenshots of all of my online press mentions to avoid potentially losing them.

I use the ScreenGrab Firefox extension which makes it easy to take screenshots right from my browser. I save my press mentions in a folder organized by publication name and date.

TIP: You can also use the screenshots as graphics for your website or other marketing materials.

This week’s 10-Minute Marketing task:

Take screenshots of your recent press mentions. Save them in a folder by date and publication name.

10-Minute Marketing is a weekly series featuring short, easy-to-accomplish marketing tasks. Follow the series here.

September 2, 2016

10-Minute Marketing: Make a list of places to share your story

Filed under: 10-Minute Marketing — lidia @ 10:12 am

10-Minute Marketing: Make a list of places to share your story

Sharing your story or expertise is a great way to get the word out about your organization and to position yourself as a thought leader.

I regularly contribute to small business blogs, as well as HARO (Help a Reporter Out) requests and have been featured on websites such as FitSmalBusiness.com and Huffington Post. I also recently had the opportunity to share my entrepreneurial journey on the Eric Olson Show podcast.

8 places where you can share your story:

  1. Magazines
  2. Trade magazines
  3. Local newspapers
  4. Alumni publications
  5. Blogs
  6. Podcasts
  7. HARO (Help a Reporter Out)
  8. uPitch or other PR apps

This week’s 10-Minute Marketing task:

Start a list of places to submit newsworthy updates or stories from your organization. Need ideas? Email me and let’s brainstorm together!

10-Minute Marketing is a weekly series featuring short, easy-to-accomplish marketing tasks. Follow along with past posts here.

August 26, 2016

10-Minute Marketing: Save a few articles to read later

Filed under: 10-Minute Marketing — lidia @ 10:43 am

10-Minute Marketing: Save a few articles to read later

Are you suffering from content overload? I know I am. It feels nearly impossible to keep up with the latest news in my industry. Which is why I like to save useful articles to read later when I have a few moments of time (after dropping off my son at school, for example).

My app of choice to save articles and blogs posts is Evernote. However there are other apps dedicated to saving and reading articles such as Pocket and Instapaper. And the nice part is these apps can integrate with your mobile device and automatically save from your browser.

This week’s 10-Minute Marketing task:

Open an account with a content-saving app. Save a few articles to read later.

10-Minute Marketing is a weekly series featuring short, easy-to-accomplish marketing tasks. Follow along with past posts here.

 

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August 11, 2016

5 resources that make managing social media easier

Filed under: Social Media — Tags: , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

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I manage my business’ social media marketing myself so I know it’s no easy task for a smaller organization or nonprofit who doesn’t have a dedicated social media manager. These 5 resources can make the process much easier for you (#1 is my fave).

This post originally appeared on the Imagine PR ImagineBlog

As a PR and marketing company, and a small business owner, staying up-to-date with the most recent social media news is a necessity. It can be difficult identifying market trends, and knowing how to capitalize on them, but having great news resources really makes the process so much easier.  Unfortunately there is no one-stop-shop site. However,  we’ve put together a list of our top 5 favorite websites for finding social media news. Whether you want to hear about emerging start-up companies, or if you need to collect content to share on social media, we have you covered.

Check out our list below and if you use a site that you don’t see on this list, share it with us in the comment section below. We are always looking for great news resources!

sme_logo_whiteSocial Media Examiner

Social Media Examiner is great for small business who really want to learn the ins and outs of all the social media platforms. With tons of “How to” articles and lists of tips and best practices, you will find all you need to know about starting a social media campaign, and plenty of content to share with your network.

 

smw2015-featSocial Media Week

Social Media Week is a great source for everything social media. They mostly cover social media breaking news and insightful articles and lists, focusing on trends in the market and what they mean for small businesses. Additionally, Social Media Week hosts unique conferences “that explores the intersection of social technology and creativity with a week of panels, presentations, demos, workshops, talks, conversations, and interactive events.” Social Media Week will be hosting their CHICAGO conference November 14 – 18, providing attendees with great educational experiences, and networking opportunities with some of the biggest influencers, from almost every industry. Secure your tickets now.

forbesForbes

Forbes social media section is more business and investor oriented than sites like Social Media week. While Forbes will rarely have lists like “5 ways social media is changing this year”, Forbes highlights top performers, and emerging companies. If monitored properly, Forbes has the potential to help you stay one step ahead of your competitors when it comes to adopting, and utilizing the latest technologies to make your business more efficient.

 

SocialTimes_640x480Social Times

Social Times is like a hybrid of Forbes and Social Media Week. They have a good stream of industry news and highlights of how innovative companies are using social media platforms to grow their businesses. Another awesome feature of Social Times is that they place the topic of the article above the title. For example, if an article is about which casinos are most popular on Instagram, Instagram will appear above the title. This saves you the time of scanning articles to see if they’re what you need.

squarelogo_9Social Media Today

Social Media Today is catered for the more serious and experienced marketers. That’s not to say “newbies” shouldn’t read it, because they should, the content is simply more useful if you already have a very good understanding of what works for you and what doesn’t. They have some great “How to” articles, but half of the content is mostly useful for key decision makers – those who are no longer executing day-to-day marketing campaigns, but are now in charge of finding the best systems for analytics and trends.

August 5, 2016

10-Minute Marketing: Track your monthly highlights

Filed under: 10-Minute Marketing — lidia @ 10:00 am

10-Minute Marketing: Track your monthly highlights

A great way to make sure you are meeting your goals is to keep track of “monthly highlights” or positive events that happen in your organization.

I use Evernote to keep track of the following highlights for my business: New clients, press mentions, success stories, and sales (% up/down)

Not only are these highlights a great way to stay motivated and focused on your goals, but you can also use them to highlight your successes in your content marketing, website copy, or other marketing materials.

This week’s 10-Minute Marketing task:

Start a file for your monthly highlights. Determine 4 categories you will track.

10-Minute Marketing is a weekly series featuring short, easy-to-accomplish marketing tasks. Follow along with past posts here.

 

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