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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Ad Spots, Should You Participate?

I think one of the challenges I often hear from my consultations is how to reach your market, through what channels, and what medium. If you don’t have a plan, you’ll make bad choices. You also open yourself up to making quick and rushed decisions. With ad placement, once you get on a handful of publication’s radars, you’ll start getting materials that might make you feel like you need to participate. The prices is right, the timing of publication is right, you enjoy looking through their stuff so you decide to proceed. You also take the time to make sure you submit a great ad that represents your marketing goals perfectly.

Then you wait.

The ad either works well or it doesn’t meet your expectations. If it flops, you might wonder what happened when you don’t start getting a return. Then, your brain starts turning and suddenly you are thinking with reason. You may realize that even though you enjoy browsing the publication you submitted your ad to, your market likely doesn’t. You may realize that even though it was a great price that the timing was off for your ad’s call to action. You realize that you felt rushed to meet a deadline and so you just submitted an ad you had on hand ready to go and now you are realizing updates that could have been made. Hindsight is painful.

Before you choose to participate with submitting an ad be sure to really review the publication to make it sure it compliments your business. If it obviously does then dig deeper and make sure it is a good fit regionally. Be sure to have a good call to action and strong and professional reflection of your business within your ad.

Stuck on ad design? I’m happy to suggest some ideas to you, shoot me an email.


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Logo Design Spotlight

logo design therapy I Heart Connection is a business with a big heart behind it! Suzanne is growing her business to help others better connect within themselves and how our brain relates to our feelings and our needs of others. She wanted a logo that could appeal to multiple audiences, in her case adults and children. It is always extremely helpful to know this before design ever takes off because knowing who you are designing for in terms of the audience will secure better results. Within this logo there are a couple of things going on. You’ll notice the heart within the shape of the “I” and in the girl’s ponytail but we completely avoided having a heart take over the logo. This was intentional to avoid market assumptions regarding her services. She’ll also be able to really have those cute characters take off within her brand and support her. In the end, logos are a piece of a business’s story.

It is up to the marketing support to carry the logo. Focus your attention and remain consistent to start seeing results faster. Have a great logo that you don’t know what to do with? I’m happy to review your logo and provide suggestions for improvement or ways to make your logo stronger. Drop me an email to get started! amie@amiebakercreative.com


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Actionable Goals and Project Management Subscriptions

This year, I’ve made a commitment to myself to write monthly actionable goals to obtain each month for my business. As February comes to a close, I’m working on wrapping up one last goal before March arrives and then I’ll start again! I didn’t expect to like this so much. Each month, I write them and wonder how I’ll get them all done among everything else. There is this funny thing that happens when you write things down…they stay on your mind. For me, I keep these written on a sticky note on the inside cover of my planner. I literally look at them every day and even if I am not reading them, they are crossing my mind. I make them happen.

What do I mean by actionable goals?
I’m talking about things that you feel would make your life easier. Things that you know need to happen in your business but you keep putting off for one reason or the other. These things that make you feel less stressed once you know you’ve finished them.
Worth the effort!
  • Have you been meaning to write more content for your business? Write down what you need to do.
  • Looking for a podcast to learn more about your business? Write down a goal to find one.
  • Are you running low on business cards and just need to place that order? Reach out.
  • Have you been meaning to improve your project management? Check out Basecamp or Asana.
Speaking of which, I recently switched from Basecamp to Asana for my project management system because of my February actionable goal and I’m really trying to stay on board and give it a good chance. I’ve heard plenty of positive feedback and I do like the features more than Basecamp. However, Basecamp is familiar and comfortable for me so I’m fighting the urge to head back just for familiarity.
I welcome you to share your comments, and write down some March goals today. No need to be fancy, this sticky note pad is straight from a print vendor I work with 🙂
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