Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wedding Shower Decorations!

Creating a fabulous wedding shower is easy with decorating ideas like this!  The cake stand I purchased for under $5 at a local thrift store.  This could also be a great gift for the bride as well.  I definitely cheated, these are store bought cupcakes! I purchased lollipop sticks at Wal-Mart and cut them in half.  My custom labels were then stuck to the sticks.  You can also purchase a circular punch and layer the labels with colored cardstock.  The labels also worked out great for the favor bags and gift boxes.  And of course I couldn't stop there.  I purchased the paper cups for a $1.50 for a pack of 10 and added the custom labels to those. I absolutely love the place cards. They are printed front and back.  Not only do they add to your decor they also help to keep your party and guests organized.  You can check out my label designs at http://www.takeitpersonallybychristine.com/labels.html

Everything you Need to Decorate your Baby Shower

My day started out shopping.  Looking for some basic items that could be dressed up with my new labels.  The labels are professionally printed onto label sheets and come 12 to a sheet. They are 2.5" round.  I found endless possibilities.  There were paper cups, gift bags,  gift boxes...  I had so much fun collecting the items.  For the cupcakes I used lollipop sticks and attached the labels to those.  I would recommend cutting a circle of cardstock to go behind the label.  I love the place cards at each seat. They are printed front and back.
Check out the designs available  http://takeitpersonallybychristine.blogspot.com/2010/05/wedding-shower-decorations.html

Thursday, May 20, 2010

How to use your Business Cards

This week I created the business card design for one of my contestants DP Photography.  Dionicia's business cards went from plain jane to fabulous and professional!  The final design was such a contrast.  Now she has the tools to promote her company.  But not everyone knows how to use their business cards correctly.

Many of my customers purchase 250 business cards and it takes them at least a year to go through them.  On the one hand some people may think that is great less money spent.  But in reality those business cards are multiple advertising opportunities that have been missed.  My company goes through at least 250 business cards every three months.  My goal is 250 per month.  Now you are probably thinking how can I give out 250 cards in even six months?  Let's cover all the great ways you can get your card out there and in customer's pockets.

The first thing is be prepared!  How many times have you had a conversation about your business with someone at the grocery store or a party and didn't have your cards on you?  I like to keep cards in my purse (wallet), keep a stack in your car, give a stack to family members you see often and when at parties keep a few in your pocket.  This way you are always prepared to advertise your business.

I am a huge fan of networking events!  I attend as many as possible.  The biggest mistake people make at these type of events is failing to give out their cards.  When you strike up a conversation with someone make sure you give them your card!  If you have a knockout design it is going to make an impression on this person.  The more you hand out the more those individuals will remember you.  And a strong design will have them talking!

As much as I love to cook I also adore eating out!  There is a place in town I frequent and the last time I was there a waitress told me she checked out my website after getting my card and loved it!  The next time you are out at a restaurant and you receive great service leave your card with the tip.  On the back of your card write a nice note about how you enjoyed your experience.

If you sell retail items either online or in a storefront you have tons of opportunities to get business cards in your customer's hands.  If you have a storefront include at least two cards in every bag with the customer's purchases! With every purchase from my website I include a minimum of two business cards and one coupon card.  Many people say their friends always ask where they got their invitations from.  Well now they have an extra card or two they can give to their friends.  Word of mouth is powerful advertising.  Why not give your clients the tools to promote you!

And finally the fish bowls!  You have seen them everywhere.  Win a free lunch when you drop your business card in here. I love this!  Not only do you get the opportunity to advertise you can get free lunch.  And when I get free lunches I make sure to take out my clients!

Now you have all the tools to use your cards effectively!  So get them out there and start reaping the rewards!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Small Investment Big Payoffs



Recently I ran a contest on facebook. Contestants posted a pic of their current business cards. The winner received a completely new design and 250 business cards. When I looked at each design as they came in the first thing that came to my mind is what does this person do? My next thought was it doesn't look like they enjoy what they do. Many of the designs were just stock and basic with all the basic info name, email and phone number. Some were even the Vista Print stock designs. One of my most hated because anyone can have the same image as you. One thing was the same about all of them. Not one of them stuck out they all blended together.

When you start your business it is hard to determine the best places to invest your money. Unfortunately the creation of a brand for your company is usually the last thing to be considered. Your branding should be one of the first things you consider when you start your business or are looking to refresh it! Your brand is like an invitation it is the first thing your clients see before the party starts. You want that invitation to give them the best impression before they meet you. Your logo is a great way to communicate who your company is and what you can offer your clients. A mistake that many companies is not all marketing materials match. There is a design for the business cards which was free from one company. Then there are the brochures that your Aunt Suzie designed for a small fee. And the post cards that were free off of Vista Print. The pricing sounds nice but the message you are sending to your customers is very confusing. Unless you have 3 different companies there is no reason to have 3 different images.

Are you ready to get excited about your business? My recent client Melanie owner of Salon Indulgence wanted a new look but just didn't seem very excited. In our first meeting I warned her that this process would definitely inspire her. In a recent email from her she said "I want to say thank you again for this you really have gotten me excited about my business again!" It is amazing what a new look can do not only for your company but for you!

When you are ready to start take the time to get an idea of what your want your logo to say. It is time to make sure your company stands out. Out of all the salon's in your city what makes you stand out? Is it the young hip vibe and unique hair designs that walk out the door? Or is it the classic sleek look that you give your clients? This should be represented in your logo and branding. I always recommend to my clients to look at other logo designs that they admire and bring them to me. Your company doesn't have to replicate those designs but it helps your designer understand your style.

My company Take it Personally by Christine offers fabulous logo design. One of the most unique items I offer is the "Cartoon" logos. This design style is great for businesses that the person/owner is the product. For example a realtor, hairdresser or contractor. The best part about this type of design is as soon as you hand the person your card they do a double take. It is so unexpected. And then they exclaim "That's you!". Now you have made an impression with the client.

Ready to get started? Check out my website for more info. For as little as $125 you can get started on a fresh new look! http://www.takeitpersonallybychristine.com/business-cards.html
Make sure to check out the before and after of Salon Indulgence.