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.

 

October 30, 2014

My favorite resources for busy moms in business

Filed under: Biz Mama,Small Business — Tags: , , , , , — lidia @ 3:38 pm

Coworking…with a toddler

For moms running a business, life can be a whirlwind. With all the daily work and family responsibilities, it’s easy to lose touch with friends, not to mention business connections.

Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to find groups and resources that have helped me learn, get inspired, and make beneficial business connections and friends.

Resources for busy biz mamas

Founding Moms
In-person and online events, including local meetups and the annual Founding Moms Conference.

MomBiz
In-person and online events, including the annual MomBiz Retreat, weekly #Mombizmondays tweet chats and the MomBiz Solutions weekly podcast.

The Mogul Mom
Super informative blog, plus a business resource Market.

Working Mother Magazine
Nice print magazine, plus online resources, the Working Mother Radio podcast and annual conferences.

For Chicago locals*

Neighborhood Parents Network (NPN) has a very active Moms in Business group with in-person events and a Facebook group. Founding Moms has 5 local chapters (find yours here).

There are also several coworking spaces—some even owned by moms—such as Enerspace Coworking (owner Jamie is a past featured Biz Mama), Collide Coworking, and Free Range Office.

*Thanks to my awesome Moms in Business group for helping out with suggestions!

What are your favorite resources for moms in business?

October 29, 2014

5 lessons learned at the 2014 Brand New Conference

Filed under: Branding,Creativity — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

2014 Brand New Cnference in chicago

I recently attended the Brand New Conference in Chicago, a 2-day event that focuses on corporate and brand identity.

In addition to having the best lanyards and stage set-up ever (see above), the conference shared branding wisdom from designers from around the world. In fact, the conference itself was a perfect example of branding at work.

5 lessons learned

  1. Use all of your experiences as influence for your work. (Lance Wyman)
  2. Craft is still important in design. (discussed by most of the speakers)
  3. Use your environment as inspiration. (Sebastian Padilla)
  4. Strategy and brand positioning are the foundation for design solutions. (Sol Sender)
  5. Use your skills to make an impact. (Justin Ahrens)

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

October 28, 2014

5 tips for making your business card work for you

Filed under: Marketing & Promotion — lidia @ 2:15 pm

a collection of business cards

Ah, the lowly business card. We all have them, but do we know how to make them stand out? Here are a few tips to make sure your business card doesn’t end up in the recycle bin…

  1. Make it unique and memorable: whether expressed through format (size, shape, folds), paper stock (heavy, textured, plastic, wood) or design, a memorable business card will stay in your recipient’s mind—and on their desk.
  2. Include clear and complete contact info: start with the basics: name, address, phone/fax number, email, URL. Then consider adding “extras,” such as twitter username, blog URL, hours of operation, product offerings, etc.
  3. Express your business personality: incorporate an aspect of your business or personality into the card. If you’re a home builder, print your card on wood. If you sell a product, include a photo of it on the card.
  4. Don’t overwhelm the recipient: don’t cram everything you do onto a tiny card. Consider creating a second business card for your ancillary business offerings or sideline business.
  5. Make sure it’s well-designed and thought-out: a good business card—just like a good business—is not thrown together quickly, but thoughtfully considered, planned and executed. Need help? Reach out to a graphic designer experienced with branding and identity for expert assistance (hint, hint)

 

October 25, 2014

30 picture book ideas in 30 days? Sign me up!

Filed under: Creativity — lidia @ 10:41 am

PiBoIdMo 2014 official participant badgeWith my new-found passion for designing children’s books, (and obsession with coming up new ideas) I was excited to stumble upon children’s book author (and mom) Tara Lazar’s blog and her annual challenge, PiBoIdMo: Picture Book Ideas Month

Inspired by the NaNoWriMo movement (National Novel Writing Month), PiBoIdMo challenges you to come up with 30 picture book ideas or concepts during the month of November.

I’ve had so many children’s book ideas percolating, so Im excited to have an incentive to start documenting them every day.

Sign up runs through Nov. 4. If anyone else joins in the fun, let me know! I will be sharing sketches on my typebaby Instagram page.

Now, off to buy a new sketchbook…

October 24, 2014

10-Minute Marketing: list your marketing essentials

10-Minute Marketing: list your marketing essentialsIf you are on my mailing list, you saw my recent newsletter about marketing essentials. What are marketing essentials?

The marketing channels that bring you the most return on your investment of money and especially, time. With so many ways to market yourself—and so little time—it’s best to focus on a few marketing techniques that are working, instead of trying to do it all.

Potential marketing essentials:

  1. Website
  2. Email newsletter
  3. Social media
  4. Content marketing
  5. Printed materials
  6. Cold calling (or emailing)
  7. Networking

This week’s 10-Minute Marketing task:

Write down your top 3 marketing essentials and post it on your office wall.

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

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