January 26, 2015

Structure is your friend (not fiend)

Filed under: 10-Minute Marketing — lidia @ 10:00 am
Carbide and Carbon Building in Chicago

Carbide and Carbon Building in Chicago

I had a “brainstorming playdate” with a fellow mom who had recently left her full-time job. She mentioned how much more productive she was when she was working in an office. I had to agree. Though I mainly work from my studio, sometimes I work onsite at a client’s office and those can be my most productive days: I manage to work an 8-hour day, plus visit the post office, bank, and Target

Why is that? Structure. The strict structure of the day, with a specified start, end and lunch time makes it easier to get things done

Admittedly, I’m not much for structure. My days tend to be pretty fluid—which I think is quite common for us creative folks. But being a working mom, structure is a necessity: I have a specific number of hours to get my work done before I pickup my son from daycare.

The main way I’ve added structure to my day is in my marketing: I’ve assigned a specific marketing task to each day, rather than doing it when inspiration strikes. I must admit it’s been a difficult transition, but I feel more productive at the end of the day.

So, maybe structure isn’t so bad after all. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a toddler to pickup for his soccer class…


How do you structure your day—or not?

January 23, 2015

10-Minute Marketing: write a case study

Filed under: 10-Minute Marketing — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 12:15 pm

10-Minute-Marketing: write a case studyI know some people avoid writing case studies, but personally I love them. They are a great way to document project details and results (trust me, you will eventually forget them otherwise) They help share your expertise and allow clients and prospects to see how you can help them.

Case studies should include client background, the challenge, your solution and results. They can be included in a marketing piece you send to prospects or added to your website or blog. See an example of one of my case studies on my blog.

This week’s 10-Minute Marketing task:

Write a case study for one of your projects.  

TIP: keep your writing focused on the client, not yourself. See this article from Ed Gandia for super useful case study writing tips.

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


Keep track of your days in style—and make your mailbox happy! [freebie]

Filed under: Featured Design Project,Time Management — lidia @ 11:57 am

2015 calendar freebie

Every year, I design a mini-calendar to send with my New Year greeting to clients. Well, this year I seem to have over-ordered…and would love to share the extra calendars. This handy calendar is small enough to tuck in your bag or post on your office wall.

Email me your mailing address and I will drop one in the mail.

Happy 2015!

January 2, 2015

Looking back: studio highlights from 2014

Filed under: Featured Design Project — lidia @ 12:00 pm

2014 was an interesting year for Lidia Varesco Design. I evolved my graphic design studio to focus more on education-oriented organizations. I continued to grow my children’s apparel line typebaby. And I kicked off some fun, new creative side projects (children’s books!)

All the best to everyone for a successful 2015!

Click on each highlight to read more

Sign up for blog updates to hear about this year’s exciting new projects.

PIBOIDMO typebaby at STYLEMAX typebaby in Crain's Chicago Typography in the City in HOW Design Red Tricycle Crafty Moms ABC book for kids 10-Minute Marketing


January 1, 2015

What I want to learn in 2015

Filed under: Creativity — lidia @ 10:00 am

15 from typography in the city

Here it is, my annual list of things I want to learn in the new year. Yes, I admit there are a few stragglers from last year’s list (when, oh when, will I finally learn how to properly use my camera?!)

Things I want to learn in 2015

  • Digital publishing: apps, eBooks
  • Making the most of my DSLR camera
  • Using Google Analytics effectively
  • An illustration technique for my children’s book ideas
  • How to make a “best-of” video from my library of clips
  • Video marketing
  • An awesome green smoothie recipe

Happy New Year!


December 5, 2014

10-Minute Marketing: Make your holiday card mailing list

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

10-Minute Marketing: Maek your holiday card mailing listIt’s that time of year… are you sending a holiday card? Ive been sending my friends, clients and vendors a New Year card and calendar for several years now. Whether you send a print card or an e-greeting, it’s a great way to thank the people who support you and your business throughout the year.

This week’s 10-Minute Marketing task:

Write down your holiday card mailing list. 

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


November 15, 2014

Halfway through PiBoIdMo (Picture Books Ideas Month)

Filed under: Creativity,Design & Art — lidia @ 12:45 pm

halfway through PiBoIdMo

Two weeks ago, I started the Picture Book Ideas Month challenge, otherwise knows as PiBoIdMo. The idea is to come up with 30 picture book ideas, sketches or concepts in 30 days.

Ive been working on a typographic board book for kids, so this was the perfect excuse to keep myself motivated.

I started with a thick sketchbook that was a bit daunting, but it ended up being freeing: I could use as many pages as I wanted without editing my ideas.

This challenge has been a great excuse to brush up on my drawing and sketching skills. I was excited to dig out my box of colored pencils (which gets dumped out by my toddler on a daily basis).

Most of my great picture book ideas come from the aforementioned toddler. Usually, he does or says something that sparks an idea. Sometimes I ask him: “what kind of book do you want Mama to make?” (his response usually involves construction or monster trucks—not my subject of choice, but I’m trying to think outside the box…)

Some days, a great idea just flows and I can’t stop writing and brainstorming. Other days, there are no ideas. But it’s OK.

Onward to the rest of the month!





November 7, 2014

10-Minute Marketing: List 10 places to submit stories

Filed under: 10-Minute Marketing — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 11:06 am

10-Miniute-Marketing: list 10 places to submit storiesA great way to get noticed is by writing articles for online or print publications. I regularly read the HARO (Help a Reporter Out) listings and submit when it’s something relevant to my business (I’ve been mentioned in a few articles and books). I also reach out to bloggers and editors who write about my industry.

This week’s 10-Minute Marketing task:

Make a list of 10 places you could submit a business article.

Ideas: online and print magazines, industry or brand websites, industry publications, small business blogs.

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


November 3, 2014

10 lessons learned at the 2014 Founding Moms Conference

Filed under: Marketing & Promotion — lidia @ 10:00 am
Jill Salzman and Christie Hefner at Founding Moms Conference 2014

Founding Mom Conference founder Jill Salzman chats with Christie Hefner

I recently attended the inaugural Founding Moms Conference in Chicago, a gathering for women (and men) running businesses, with a focus on mom-owned businesses. There were fabulous speakers on topics such as sales, marketing, communication, and work-life balance.

The overall takeaway for me was: make a difference, get out of your comfort zone, and charge what you’re worth (i.e. raise your prices).

10 lessons learned at the Founding Moms Conference

  1. Raise your prices. (Brad Farris)
  2. If you don’t deal with your money, it will deal with you. (Barbara Stanny)
  3. It’s not about making more money, it’s about making a difference. (Barbara Stanny)
  4. Take something that scares you, remove the “but” and replace with “and” (Jamie Migdal)
  5. You’re educating, not pitching. (Darin Adams)
  6. Build networks instead of searching for one mentor. (Christie Hefner)
  7. Schedule a 4 o’clock tea. (Sandee Kastrul)
  8. What can you do that makes your clients/customers say “wow”? (Darin Adams)
  9. Price is not a POD (point of difference) — your POD should relate to an unmet need. (Susan Silver)
  10. Everything you do is either making a deposit into or withdrawal from your brand. (Christie Hefner)

Heading to a conference soon? Read my tips for designing the perfect conference experience.

October 31, 2014

10-Minute Marketing: archive your press mentions

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

10-Minute Marketing: archive your press mentionsWhenever I’m lucky to receive a press mention, I add the link to my News page, however I also archive it: I print a copy and do a screen grab of the page.

Why? Well, you never know how long that page will exist. And this way, you’ll also have an electronic version to use for proposals, press kits, trade shows, etc.

This week’s 10-Minute Marketing task:

Archive your press mentions. Do a screen grab of the page* and/or make a hard copy printout. 

*I use the Pixlr Grabber add-on in Firefox

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


Older Posts »