Be Brightly Branded

Amie Baker Creative is a boutique graphic design studio focused on helping businesses and their brands through visual identities, print design and web design.


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How To Speak Visually

MOOD BOARD DESIGN

I often hear from clients that they are having a hard time telling me what it is that they have in their head for their expectations on visual outcome. It can quickly become frustrating when you are trying to tell your designer in words and have it come out off target when translated visually. So what do you do?

Mood boards are magic, I promise. Take a look at this post in the archives to learn more about what a mood board is.

When you are having a hard time putting your thoughts into words to tell anyone, even your business partner then you need to take a different approach. Spend time gathering images off the internet that you’ve loved. Save those postcards you’ve gotten in the mail that made sense, take note of copy you enjoyed because it sounded great, pull those color swatches in the paint store because it is the perfect coral for your logo. Do all these things and compile them into a single image that you can look at and really see how all of these things you love visually work together once they are living in the same space together.

Once you have it all together, you may find that your love for glitter doesn’t belong in your brand, or you’ll find that it absolutely does. Visual clarity and focus will start to form. Take the time to do this and if you don’t have the interest to do this yourself, I can do it for you! Email me and we’ll start to pull it together.

Once you have a visual mood board it will be helpful for any designer that you choose to move forward with. A lot of things with design can’t be translated with words and so compiling a bunch of images together to do so proves very helpful on both sides with getting you up and running quicker and easier.


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Do You Know How To Measure Marketing Success?

marketing successHave you ever struggled to know if a campaign has worked for you? Do you struggle to figure out where your clients come from? These are important things to know and define for your business. Here are a few ways you can track your marketing efforts:

  • Google Analytics: Make sure it is installed properly so you are able to track links that you put out into the world and then be able to review their success.
  • Direct Mail: Use a unique URL that you ask recipients to visit to learn more or get special offer. Track that URL to see how many people followed your call to action.
  • Location Based Brochures: Use a specific phone number on the brochure that is only listed on that specific brochure offering, track those calls.
  • Offer Codes: Vary your special offer codes in order to track where the most uses are coming from to help better plan future campaigns.
  • Ask! Sometimes the hardest thing to do is simply ask where they heard about you, your business or your service. After you ask, you might find you can follow up with a referring outlet and thank them for their word of mouth and offer continued incentives for referrals.

Where you are putting your effort, make sure to put your attention into making sure you can track it.


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Realtors, Are You Missing Out On A Great Marketing Impact?

With my family’s recent move, I was handed a beautiful box with a belly band and inside was our beautiful keys on a sweet key chain. All one cares about in the huge hurdles of moving is getting those tiny little keys. This was our first time buying a brand new house so it was the first time getting a gift like that. It made me realize that no matter new or old, a house is huge gift and I wondered why every key before wasn’t presented this way. I may have been swayed by my love for package design but I don’t think my feeling was far off. I posted that picture on my personal social media feeds. What a great marketing opportunity with little investment and big pay off. Previously, I’ve been handed a key or picked it up in a plain white envelope.

Brands really gain momentum when you can make people feel and good feelings and get excited about something. Think about your delivery to your clients if you are handing over something tangible, why not brand it? I’ve got all these ideas circulating in my head now about custom boxes for realtors, special cards that have the key inside, a beautiful hang tag tied to the key with a red bow…pair some great design with your name and logo for an under the radar approach and free marketing, when your client potentially does the same as I did and posts a picture to social media. I’m looking for a realtor who wants to create some custom key packing, email me if you are interested!

keybox


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Why You Need Boundaries In Your Business

Creating Boundaries In Your Business www.amiebakercreative.com

I’ve learned the hard way that multi-tasking isn’t truly helpful even when we want it to be. I admit, there are days I’m forced into that mode and focusing on one thing at a time is always a work in progress. Those are always the days I feel the most pressure. Through this, I’ve learned the value of focus and dialing in on a project allowing it the undivided attention it needs to really flourish.
I’ve adopted a strategy to own my time for the sake of my work and growing my creative talent.

What does that mean to me?

I block out time for each project I work on. It is important to me to allow my mind the time to focus and think about each project I commit to. Doing so creates better results and happier clients.

I schedule all phone calls. It seems that phone calls are the number one way that I am pulled from progress on a client’s project. I love connecting via phone and chatting things out but it is time that I’ve discovered needs to be planned out for the same reasons my project work time does. At times I will pick up an unscheduled call, but it just might be to thank the caller and plan time to re-connect. I also don’t list my phone number on my site intentionally but that is a future topic. You can subscribe to my email list if you don’t want to miss those details, here!

Emails are all important and I do my best to be prompt. It is usually the quickest way to get to me. It is my biggest challenge of distraction, for sure. It is hard to combat letting my inbox call the shots for the day. I know I’m not alone.
Social Media isn’t a priority. There are so many opinions about how businesses should spend their time on social media. I cut the clutter and took an honest look at the time involved and realized when I was actively working on a project, I didn’t need to be responding to anything because when I switched gears off the project, jumping into social media was still there waiting. Basically, my client’s project are more valuable at the time.

Controlling the subscribes. You guys, it feels incredible to unsubscribe to something that isn’t giving you value and in return it clears your inbox. Years ago, I made that a resolution. I decided to unsubscribe to anything that wasn’t providing actual value to me and still today is something I care very much about. It is also shocking how many emails you’ll still get subscribed to by automation when you are fiercely protecting that access

These are all examples of the boundaries I’ve come to rely on to allow me to provide a better experience, better service and better results to the clients I thank for partnering with me.

I challenge you to find things in your business that are distracting you from being better, or from growing. Find a solution on how to change the struggle and deploy it. Let’s get the wheels on that bus moving.


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I’ve Been Published In Photoshop User Magazine!

I was so happy to be selected as a featured designer for a column in Photoshop User magazine. This is a national trade magazine and being recognized by my peers and fellow designers in this fashion is quite the honor.

This specific spread is a before and after of a flyer design for a daycare center. Often times clients come to me with designs they’ve been using for years but are now launching their business to the next level and so we partner together to create marketing pieces that promote the best of their business! Common discussions we have when we process leaving the old and branding the new often have to do with removing the clutter, the personal attachment, and allowing space for content to thrive.

Here are some pictures to share of my spread!

graphic designer branding expert published designer amie baker

I’m so honored to have been a part of this, thank you Photoshop User Magazine. Spoiler Alert! I’m being featured again!


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Brand Audit

brand audit

If you can’t identify and articulate the problem you face, it is a good sign that you need additional help. One of my favorite things to do for businesses is to do a brand audit. Hang in here with me, you’ll see the value once I explain.
Think of how many things you put out there for your business. On a simple level you might have a combination of your logo, business card, website and a direct mail piece. When is the last time you put all those things directly in front of your nose to critique? Have you ever taken a step back to look at the entire picture instead of the piece that you’ve got to get out and get off your list? If this is you constantly, know that you aren’t alone. Many of my clients have this struggle. This can be a great pat on the back experience for some businesses and for others it can be quite sobering.

When you lay everything you’ve got together, on the table in front of you to review at once, things are going to jump out. You might notice that you sporadically use your logo the same, that your fonts are all over the board, that your images all have a different look and feel. This is when you start seeing opportunity! Create a plan to start tackling and pull in the ropes.

Streamline, be consistent, make things cohesive. You’ll be rewarded in your brand.

If you find yourself proud and happy with how things are all on the same page then you’ve got a chance to brainstorm on how to take things to the next level. Sorry if you thought I was going to say you could kick back! You can take the time to decide what has worked and what isn’t working. Look for your next branding opportunity.

Branding is constant work and it pays you back by setting you apart from your competition when you continue to be top of mind for continuously caring for the brand you have made.

If you are interested in a brand audit, give me a shout. I’d love to provide you some great feedback on where to go and how to do it!