This weekend I attended Mom Market's Boss Mom Brunch, put on by Maternifit. It was an amazing and inspiring event which I absolutely LOVED. Today I want to write about what it takes for each Boss Mom to get there. Cuz believe me, the struggle is real.
BUSINESS BEFORE PLEASURE?
On Friday, I had a regular work day, which consists of working on designs for my clients as well as managing mom duties at home. I was awaiting a VERY important delivery from UPS (What the F*** can Brown Do For You? I still haven't figured that out). The delivery contained some menus I designed for a client who needed them that evening, as well as my own promotional flyers for the Mom Brunch event. The delivery was supposed to arrive between 2:30 and 6:30pm. UPS has had issues with delivering to my house in the past, so I made sure that I was at home after 2:30 to be there when it arrived. I was super anxious because my client needed those menus and if I couldn't deliver on time, of course it makes me and my business look bad. Around 2:45 I get a text saying that UPS attempted delivery but that no one was home to sign for it. Now, being here at home, practically staring out the window waiting for the infamous brown delivery truck, I know that there was no way this was true. I was like, OH HELL NO. So I immediately wander my street like a weirdo, to my neighbors houses to see if they may have left a door tag on another door. They did not. I get on the phone to customer service and demand some service. Now, I am usually pretty mild mannered, polite, and a generally cool chick, but my anxiety level was way over 10, and combined with my business reputation on the line, I turned into an irrational beast! No joke. I was on the phone with them asking them, nay, telling them that they need to turn the truck around and come back because clearly they had made a mistake and it was vital I get the delivery by 6:30. The sassy customer service lady on the phone informed me, matter of factly, that the truck would not be returning, and why was I yelling at her, and Honey, it's not our fault, etc. OK, I'm pretty sure any Boss Mom will agree, but NO ONE CALLS ME HONEY EXCEPT MY HUSBAND. After being hung up on, I called back and spoke to another poor soul who had to listen to me. Finally, they said that I can come pick up the package at 8pm that night. Not ideal, but the situation was resolved. Better late than never.
A few lessons were learned that evening.
1. Order packages to be delivered a week ahead of time (if you can help it).
2. Never use UPS (if you can help it).
3. All that meditation I've been doing may or may not actually help in these situations.
#BOSSMOM IS A THING
I know I should have remained calm and everything would be ok. I mean, yes, it is not ideal to be late when delivering for a client, but in the big picture of life, it all works out in the end. The point is, is that so many business moms probably went through similar situations the night before the event. The vendors selling stuff probably had late deliveries, computer errors, things breaking, and goodie bags to fill, and at the same time, children's sports events to get to, mouths to feed, clothes to wash, and the list goes on. Yet, we survive. In fact, we thrive. We are the multi-tasking queens of our households and our businesses. All the chaos behind the scenes exists even when our stage performance looks flawless. Makeup perfection, hair beautiful, business cards at the ready, and a big smile on our exhausted face.
So as I looked around and met all the wonderful women at the brunch, I felt instantly connected to all these smart, professional, beautiful, slightly crazy for doing this, women. We have shared experiences, similar tales to tell, and because of that, it's easy to support each other and our growing businesses.
I'm a couple days late on the Valentine's Day greetings! But, love is love everyday of the year. So here are a few prints that I designed, to express my love.
I took this photo of the Cliffs of Mohr on a vacation to Ireland. It was on these very cliffs that I got engaged to my husband. Ireland will always hold a special place in my heart. Wonderful memories, a beautiful country and some of the nicest people I've ever met!
My wish is that everyone out there finds their bacon. Mine is extra crispy!
Now this is a statement of true love only reserved for that special someone.
I am a graphic designer.
I am a Cultural Sponge and an Observer of the world.
I can be hyper-aware of visuals and text around me.
I get bored of the same thing.
I see the invisible grid.
I notice the visual cues of a headline, sub-headline, body copy, and everything in between.
I notice the subtlety of brilliant design decisions.
I believe everything in a good design is objective –
from the choice of font, the feel of the paper, it all has a reason for being.
I believe concept is key.
I strive daily to be a problem solver and a clear communicator.
Curiosity drives me.
I desire understanding and order.
I like simplifying complicated things.
I believe a good designer is a good teacher.
I strive for understanding of relationships between objects; between image and text.
I combine communication, art, education and business.
I am a graphic designer.
Anyone can make a flyer, right? But it takes some design sense to create a layout that actually helps the reader to make sense of all the visual chaos. A layout is a combination of text and images. It is the way you place those words and images on a page that makes the difference between a good design and a bad design. A good design is a layout that communicates your message as best as possible. In order to do that, you need a visual hierarchy.
What is visual hierarchy?
It is when you prioritize the information on the layout so that a reader knows what to read first, second third, etc. It helps to move the reader through the page in a natural way so that they get the information and they get a sense of what is important to read first. It makes it easier for the reader to digest the information, therefore they will stay with the page longer and actually read it.
How to create visual hierarchy?
You can use principles of design to create this flow in your layout. The elements of color and scale/size can help indicate the focal points in your layout. Also, your choice of fonts can help distinguish headlines, block quotes, and subheadlines from body copy,. And of course, your actual layout matters. You want to give your information in organized chunks rather than one large block of text. This allows the reader to take it one chunk at a time rather than overwhelm them with too much all at once.
As you can see in the example flyer I created, I have used layout, color, size, and fonts to organize the text in a way that makes it easy to read by creating a visual hierarchy. Think about those elements when creating your next flyer!
As a working mom, I have to make sure that I am organized on a daily basis to keep my household and my business in order. Being organized means less stress for me, more time with family, and a sense that I'm doing my job as both a business woman and a mother and wife. Here are some things I have made part of my daily life:
I always love reading inspirational quotes. Author, Neil Gaiman, has always been my go to for New Year's inspiration. He always manages to say the exact right thing in such a beautiful way. This year, this is what I stumbled upon from his journal:
"It's a New Year and with it comes a fresh opportunity to shape our world.
So this is my wish, a wish for me as much as it is a wish for you: in the world to come, let us be brave – let us walk into the dark without fear, and step into the unknown with smiles on our faces, even if we're faking them.
And whatever happens to us, whatever we make, whatever we learn, let us take joy in it. We can find joy in the world if it's joy we're looking for, we can take joy in the act of creation.
So that is my wish for you, and for me. Bravery and joy."
Working on your own business, is all about balance. I created a Wellness Guide for myself to remind me of ways to stay healthy and stress-free (as much as possible). Some days I can check off all the boxes, but on most days, I'm super happy to just check off a few. I needed to make this for myself so that I could feel better ad healthier. You shouldn't spend your day stuck in front of a computer all day. It's unhealthy for your eyes, your back and neck muscles, and bad for mental health! Adding a few healthy reminders to your day, can really help your overall focus, energy and attitude- even on the busiest of days. Here's my guide that you can print out and share. Or use it as inspiration to make your own guide that works for you!
We are well into a busy 2017 holiday season. While this can be an exciting time with record sales or donations, it is important to remember that 2018 is right around the corner. Now is the time to start planning for an even more successful year ahead!
In a Small Business Week Survey, 82% of small businesses and nonprofits said they adopted a multi-channel marketing program including email, mobile, and social media. 73% of them reported success such as:
Maybe you are just starting out your business, or perhaps you’re already established. Either way, make sure you do an annual check up of your marketing. Marketing requires constant assessment and tweaking to ensure it’s still doing what you want it to do. Todays topic focuses specifically on Digital Marketing.
1. YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE:
Establish a Social Media presence if you don’t already have one OR if you already have one established, take a week to analyze what you have been doing this past year -- what worked and what didn’t.
The major social media outlets you should be using are: Facebook, Instagram
and Twitter. And depending on your business, you may also need to be active on Snapchat, Google, and Yelp.
If you are on review sites such as Yelp, be sure to respond to any reviews. Even if it was a negative review, your response will show other potential customers that you are willing to learn from your mistakes and improve.
Make sure to post content frequently -- at least once a week to show your customers and potential customers that you are still alive. Also tag others and share other posts. Social Media is meant to be social! If people see your account is not very active, they may lose interest. If you find that some accounts are working better than others, than aim to focus on those, and consider closing the accounts that aren’t working rather than let them gather dust. For me, I really see Instagram as helping me, but Twitter not so much. SO I focus most of my energy on posting on Instagram.
2. CHECK OUT YOUR WEBSITE
If you have answered NO to any of these questions, it's definitely time to update your website. Also, search engines like to see updated content. If your site has just been sitting there, it is going to fade from the search engines, so try and update content to stay fresh and easier to find. Drive customers to your site in new ways by making sure you have a link to your site on all your social media outlets, your email signature, and your printed marketing materials.
3. EMAIL MARKETING
Email is great way to stay top-of-mind of your customer/potential customer. It’s important to keep an updated e-mail list, as well as offer content that makes customers want to click on your email as well as stay subscribed. So in addition to offering promotions, make sure you have content that is interesting to read!
Use an email marketing software system such as Constant Contact. It helps you send to your entire list, and provides analytics. Make sure you have an email address that reflects your business website, not just a gmail or yahoo account. It looks more professional and shows that you mean business!
4. A couple other Marketing things to consider:
5. MARKETING CALENDAR
Establish a digital marketing calendar for the quarter so you can ensure that it aligns with your business goals that quarter. Always analyze what you’ve done and then use that information to move forward into the next quarter’s marketing calendar.
This is a great time of year to asses how your digital marketing is working for you and to establish a strong campaign plan for 2018. If you are interested in our professional services, we can help!