branding

Sugar Wood :: Blog and Shop

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I love all of our clients, but when my client starts out as a friend (and a dear friend at that) it makes it even better!!

This is Chana. She is one of the most beautiful souls I know. Her compassion and love for the world is unmatched. Additionally, she is a baker that is known for her caramel crack.IJU_6420Isn’t her family adorable? They are so sweet.

Anyway, back to the crack.IMG_7588 Kristen Carter Photography Sugar WoodThis is the deliciousness that she makes. It tastes just as good as it looks, I promise.

She offers two varieties right now, her sea salt topped caramel shortbread:3And the heavenly sea salt topped caramel bites: IMG_9997-10And not only have I had the honor to design her website and shop, but I also designed her boxes for her.SugarWoodBox8

I’m always proud of my work, but knowing that something I designed is being shipped all over the world and in shops too? There is definitely something special about that!

Do you have a project you need help with? Something you need designed, whether a website or packaging or anything random that you need help with? Contact us today! Let us help you get to the place of contentment!

Differences between Marketing, Public Relations, Advertising and Branding

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Differences between Marketing, PR, Advertising and Branding :: The Photog's Helper

Chances are, when you started your business you were told that you needed to figure out your branding. You needed to work on your marketing and advertising. All of these words get spread around in our industry but rarely does anyone really truly understands what they mean.

I found this info graphic on Pinterest (follow me!) and even though the original company has merged with a new one and I cannot find a true original link, I’m still going to share it. Neutron, LLC created this info graphic which has now joined with Liquid Agency. I normally will only share something if I can find the original creator link but this was too perfect not to share.

Differences Between Marketing, Branding, Advertising and Public Relations :: The Photog's Helper

 

Even though it’s slightly more mature, it really makes sense.

If you are telling people about yourself, you are marketing. Someone else (whether hired or from your network) it is public relations. Advertising is just pounding your message into someone’s mind. Branding encompasses everything you are presenting and provides the information for people to really get your message.

Does this help you understand what you need to do in your business? Does it help you with your marketing or branding plan and goals for the year? What has changed?

Tuesday Tip :: Why Your Spouse’s Opinion Doesn’t Matter

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spousesopinion

I’ve seen the following a lot over the years but it’s just recently had another influx over the past week.

“My husband doesn’t like X option.” “My husband thinks I shouldn’t charge as much.” “My spouse thinks I need to get a day job because no one will pay me for what I do.”

When I see this, my soul hurts inside. I understand how much we love and trust our spouses. They tend to be our foundation, our rocks, our main support system.

However, unless they are a marketing manager for their own company, in the industry that you are trying to working in AND have experience with your target market, their opinion should be only that: an opinion.

When choosing how to price yourself and how to brand yourself, you should be getting help and guidance from someone who knows what they are talking about OR is in your target market. Chances are, he is not your Target Market. If he is, fantastic! You have a built in testing location. If not, you need to talk to people that know what you are trying to go for and why choices are made.

So next time your spouse gives you an opinion that makes you second guess what you are doing, gracefully thank him for his thoughts and let him know you’ll be taking his opinions to the industry to make sure that it lines up with your goals. If the industry lines up with his mindset, let him know and thank him. If it does not, also let him know and tell him why you are choosing to utilize the advice from professionals.

Your business is yours and it can be so difficult, especially if your spouse is successful in another industry, to not be tempted to just go with everything they say. However, it is not going to be the best thing for you to do!

Best of luck with any changes you make, but know that the choices should be for you and you alone to decide.

Now, this is in no way meant to degrade your spouse’s heart or thoughts or support. That’s always important for a relationship but this relationship is not for your business. You can love them, but not love everything they suggest!

Linky Love :: Promote Your Blog

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The fact that Infographics have become so popular has made me so very happy. I love great design when combined with  wonderful information!

This one I just found thanks to Pinterest is full of amazing information!

linkylovepromotion

 

It’s so wonderful when I can find the great stuff out there to help with promoting your own stuff. There are 30 ways listed with detailed information on how to get your name out there. Not only that, most of them are free!

There are some things there that I never would have thought of, outside of the photography community. What a great idea!

So, what about you? Do you have a checklist you go through when you’ve clicked “Publish” on a blogpost? Maybe this list will help you add some things to get it out there!

Tuesday Tip :: Commercial Use

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tuesdaytipcommercialuse

As photographers, we get easily angered if someone takes our photos and uses them inappropriately, even if it’s just as their Facebook profile picture.

And yet, at the same time, I’ll speak with photographers and other creative types use fonts and brushes and patterns and everything that are not set up to be used for commercial use.

If you are going to be doing something that will make money with someone’s creation and it has NOT been licensed for commercial use, you can not sell anything with it. That includes the font on your logo, a brush or icon used in your logo, any fabrics or patterns you’ve gotten off of google images and placed on an image too.

The good news is, there are easy ways to make sure that you are legit and you don’t have to pay a fortune! Just pay attention to your googling and check out the list below!

For fonts, I am a DIE HARD Font Squirrel fan. Font Squirrel only provides fonts that are not only free, but are also fully allowed for Commercial Use. Working on cards for your clients or a Calendar to sell or icons for your website? If you only use fonts you find here, you know you will be legit and legal!

Now, when it comes to clip art and icons, you don’t always want to use the same things everyone else has. Not only that, sometimes you want to find something very particular and can’t find it any of the kits or downloads that are available in the photograph community. deviantArt is the best place to find something you just might love! You can do searches from the main page or even just start delving deeply into the great artists of the future and best of all, a huge variety of commercial use items for free. It’s a little like going into a vintage or antique store with something exactly in your mind you are searching for. You may have to visit several times before you find it, or dig deeply into the back corners, but chances are, you will find it eventually! Just make sure you read the Terms of Use carefully.

Today, I want you to take a look at the products in your computer and those on your website and find out if you are using something for your business that you do not have a commercial use for. Keep those in mind when designing flyers and buttons and anything that will be involved for your business or that will part of a piece you will be selling.

Do you have any resources you love for commercial use products? They don’t have to be free….somethings are worth paying for. But I am lazy and cheap in that I will hesitate to spend money if I can find something that will work just as well if not better that is free! This is also why I am not my own client…but that is a whole other story…. Where do you get your goods from?

Tuesday Tip :: Make a Connection

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As a photographer, you are invited into people’s lives. You will see things that normal strangers are not wanted to see. Children will have meltdowns. Brides will have Bridezilla moments, no matter how relaxed and calm they are when you meet with them. This is just the way people are when stress is introduced to your life.

Because of the trust that these people have in you, the first point of contact should be who you are. Every piece of your world should showcase who you are (from your brand and website to how you dress at a session) so that you can concentrate on getting the connection and not trying to make sure you ACT how you think you should.

Get that About page updated. Make sure you have an image that speaks of who you are as a person.  For example: here is my About Me image on my website:

I’m quirky, a little bit silly and ready to get glammed up in a heartbeat. I also know how to have fun!

The biggest thing photographers forget – your Voicemail message! It should be professional but speak to your personality. So make sure it’s not the default one that comes with it (or even worse, the default Google Voice VM…that one is painful).

Take time today to go through and make sure that everything is exactly how it should be. That your email addresses are set up to be custom and professional. Your About page is there. Everything that your client touches is set to be part of the connection you want to make.

Even if all you do today is make your To Do list, touch on it this week. Get it started, because if you don’t start, you can’t ever finish.

Linky Love :: Stuck On You

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Have you heard of Moo?

They are a printing company based out of the UK that has some pretty great options. Their business cards are famous because of the ability to have different images on the back of each card which allows you to carry your portfolio with you.

In addition to their business cards, they also have a variety of other products including stickers.

In my Reader today (I love Google Reader….do you use it?) I was notified of their sale on stickers!

How creative is this? It’s a sticker business card that they put on wood! These would look great on the back of canvases or prints that you sell or on creative bookmarks or maybe used to finish up your packaging! The options are endless!

Do you need new business cards and do you want an option for some awesome looking stickers to go with your branding? Use the code STICKYCARD when checking out and you can have a package of Rectangle stickers for half off!

Or even better! Do you currently have Moo cards? I’d love to see what you have created! Share with us on the blog or on Facebook!

Tuesday Tip :: Branding Magic

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Have any of you played that Logo Identification game out there? There are a variety of types with the basic premise being the ability to recognize a company without the name. Who doesn’t immediately know what the big red circle within a circle is (Target, anyone)? The Nike swoosh, the Apple apple. All of these icons and font styles immediately bring to mind the company they identify and the products or services they provide. The G of Gucci and the C’s of Coach just scream luxury while the yellow smiley face of Wal*Mart let you know you are in for a discount.

What does your logo say about you? More importantly, does your logo work with your brand?

It’s so important to make sure that everything your brand touches, whether it be your business card, your website, your packaging, your emails, even how you answer the phone all are incorporated together.

The easiest way to create a cohesive brand is to work with a branding specialist. Someone who knows what they are doing, can work with you to narrow down exactly what you want to portray and make sure everything is exactly what it needs to look like.

One of my favorite branding gurus is Kristina Kathrynn Photography and Design. She works strictly with photographers, since she is one as well, she knows what she is doing! Her designs are unique to each customer so you will get something fresh and specific just to you, as opposed to a tweak of a current design. Not only are her designs gorgeous, but she is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet! I had the pleasure of meeting up with her in Vegas at WPPI this past year and, after learning she was in my area (Pacific Northwest represent!) we have gotten together a couple times.

When she asked me if I would want to help with a contest she was putting on, what else could I do but scream YES!?!

So, go here and check out the rules and instructions. It’s a giveaway unlike any other you’ve seen. You have an opportunity to get a complete branding makeover just by using Pinterest (who doesn’t love Pinning for a Purpose?) and creating a board with a branding inspiration. Best of all, even if you don’t win, you’ll have created a board full of inspiration and ideas to help you streamline your brand.

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