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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Hello September!

helloseptI join in with the craziness of fall. Actually, I join in on the craziness of most things because I’ll use any excuse to have a theme, celebrate something or decorate for something! However, fall is food for my creative soul. It seems like a new start each year where I find myself experiencing the most creative growth. I guess that is part of the beauty of living in the PNW. I can crack my office window and hear the rain, light a yummy smelling candle and pick a Pandora station and just like I’m off in my own world and my creativity becomes an addiction. So bring on the pumpkin everything, and a few stormy days and stay tuned for fun projects to come to light!


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Client Experience :: Secrets of Print Shops

With my recent move (more here), we’ve had to fill out countless warranty registration cards and mail them in. I filled them all out and let me tell you how frustrating it is to have to fill in the model number or other product specific information on those postcards when I know in my mind they could have done it for me. I’m talking about variable printing. A magical solution to printing a wide range of information within the same exact template. For example, those warranty cards could have been pre-filled in for me and only a couple were. These are the things that challenge my mind with my clients now to find ways I can make their lives easier by the use of print technology that isn’t widely known with small business owners.

In simple terms, it is magic, variable printing lets you control content that prints in one print run with several variances. Imagine having a product line that needs warranty cards returned and having them all come back legible for you and allows you to speed up processing time.

If you have 3 models, traditionally you’ll need to supply 3 print files if you are pre-filling data for each one.  That is 3 projects to manage. 3 email strings. 3 everything. Variable printing allows you to set fields within the design file to supply 1 file. You’ll accompany that file with a date file that holds the key on what to print where. That likely sounds more intimidating than it actually is so don’t let that fool you. You now have 1 project to manage, 1 email string, 1 everything. Your printer will even shrink wrap, pack and label the different versions for you. Even though it will take a bit more time upfront prepping a data file, it will save you so much time overall.

Give me a shout with questions about a project you have interest in for applying variable data and tips on how to make it work for you. Most commonly this process is best paired with direct mail, invitations, fundraiser marketing and sales presentations.

Here is a handy visual to break it down:

variable printing-01-01


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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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Uncovering Your Prospect’s Concerns to Seal The Deal

horses-mouth
Sometimes as a small business owner it is so hard to believe that your marketing investment will pay you back until you hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. My real estate branding client recently shared with me that she uncovered with a prospective listing that she was hesitant to list with her and when she worked through digging to the source of her client’s concern, she discovered that her client simply didn’t want her listing sign in her yard because she didn’t like the way it looked. How much would that cost your business in comparison to investing in your brand?Could you imagine losing a listing over your listing sign’s design? What a gift that feedback was to hear for my client as a small business owner. We had already started working on a re-brand so I will be providing a shiny new design that will properly reflect the client she serves.

The great thing about re-branding is that you’ll be able to put all those feelings to rest if you’ve been self conscious about your current designs. You’ll be so proud and excited to show your new brand off that it will all translate into confidence that your prospects will pick up on and want to hop on board in your care as it is reflected in your representation.
I’m happy to review all your marketing materials and offer suggestions to improve your brand, where to start or even implement a re-brand. Take the leap.


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Bitesize Marketing Tips

bitesize-marketingFriday is here and I’ve got a few simple tips to share that are common things I run into from time to time with start-ups that might be handy tidbits if you are just dipping your toes into this whole crazy marketing world.
  • You are not able to use save images you find on the internet at your leisure, you’ll need to purchase stock art to avoid copyright infringement.
  • Make sure your logo works in black and white to ensure it will be able to display across several mediums and scale in size properly.
  • Comic Sans font is frowned upon in the design community 🙂
  • If you lay all your pieces out in front of you, they should all have the same feeling for brand consistency.


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What Do Realtors, Lawyers, and Wedding Planners Have in Common?

personal brand growthWhat do realtors, lawyers, and Wedding Planners have in common? They all have to market their personal name as much as their business. Sure, all of these professionals could work with a large corporation and the marketing just kind of tends to itself with the internal marketing staff at hand but for those who are brave enough to go at it alone, they must rely on marketing themselves and creating a personal brand.

Here are a few simple and digestible tips for your to consider as you define your personal marketing efforts:

  • Your marketing should focus less on you and more on your clients.
  • You need to humanize your brand, don’t rule out personality in favor of leaning to the strict professional side and risk coming off stale and generic.
  • Whenever possible, find ways to apply marketing automation to save you time while increasing the effectiveness of your efforts.
  • Allow your personality to show to help reflect an authentic brand.
  • Don’t forget a great picture of yourself. People expect to know who the face is thanks to social media, demonstrate visual trust by including your image where appropriate.

Do you have tips that have worked well for you as you’ve continued to grow? I’d love to hear!

To get more tips like this, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. I promise I’ll never spam you or overstay my welcome in your inbox.


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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.