Tips & Tricks

5 Things to Remember When Building a Creative Business

In the creative services world there are generally two types of personalities, both equally valuable and essential to the ecosystem of our industry; business principals and creative talent. In the freelance world these roles combine and sometimes collide. In the small business world these roles blend together, but eventually start to find some separation as a company grows.

In my past, I’ve spent time in each one of these roles as a participant in this industry; employee, freelancer, and business owner. I’ve learned how each role contributes to producing great work.

For those of you drawn to the direction of starting and growing a creative business, this post is for you. There’s lots to consider when you decide to grow a business beyond yourself and take the leap from being an employee or a freelancer being fed funnel work from a larger agency or partner.

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Using Mockups to Enhance Presentations

As a designer, there are few things more appealing than a well crafted logo isolated on a sea of white space. Free from all other visual distraction, all focus is on the design. But that’s not a logo’s natural habitat. Logos live in the real world; on letterheads and business cards, on websites, on billboards and t-shirts and coffee mugs – basically everywhere except vast, uninterrupted fields of white.

So why then, when sending concepts to a client, is it customary to send them in this stark fashion? It’s true that it’s important for the client to see your designs in a distraction-free setting but it is a much more accurate representation of how a logo will eventually look if it is given some environmental context.

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9 Things To Remember When Communicating With Clients

As creative professionals we rely on having a steady flow of jobs to keep us in business as well as staying forward thinking and pumping out great work. We love telling friends about new projects and the new exciting things we learn along the way.

We also sometimes hate clients. We hate that they hold us back. We hate that they don’t understand us. We make websites like “Clients from Hell” to mock them anonymously and vent. While these things help us cope, they don’t help us help clients.

I’ve picked a few aspects of client communication that I think everyone needs a reminder on. No, I’m not reinventing client communication in this post. This post is a litmus test for your psyche. This isn’t a one-time read. I think you should bookmark this and read it every month to bring you back down to earth and retain your sanity.

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Steps to Make Writing a Blog Post Easy

We’ve all been in this situation before. That moment you have a great thought or discover something new, then your mind starts racing, and you think to yourself “I need to tell other people about this.” As creative people and builders we find ourselves in this situation often as we pursue bigger and better work in our daily lives.

The problem is that we rarely act on that urge. Some of us aren’t naturally gifted writers that can whip up an interesting and inspiring 500 word essay to share with our peers and followers. We’re also busy people, so when we think about work related topics outside of work, we become disinterested.

The goal of this post will be to motivate and guide you through taking a very simple thought and expanding it into a fully written piece.

I will preface this by saying you do not need to do these steps all at once, but you should do them in order.

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Learn to Manage Distractions at Work

So you’ve found yourself at a company you like, doing work you like, but struggling to stay focused. It’s possible you’re being affected by a number of influences that break your attention and cause you to lose your focus. These influences are not always a bad thing, but can cause negative effects when it comes to you actually accomplishing the goals you have in front of you on a daily basis.

We all want to be good at our jobs (I hope), but we also want to have fun and avoid being stressed. Unfortunately we commonly seek out fun distractions or in some cases accept their presence so often that we actually cause stress. If that sounds counterintuitive, that’s because it very much is.

This post is about reducing your stress at work. I’m going to make points that will sound outright wrong, but after taking a few seconds to step back, will reveal themselves as such common sense you will question your entire being. I’m kidding, but the concept of this will sound tougher than it actually is.

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Accurately Quote Design Using Golden Mean Pricing [eBook]

We’ve all been there before. You’ve been approached to work on a project as a freelancer or small business owner. The client has unloaded a ton of information during a sit down that you have to digest and turn into a proposal that breaks down the scope of work and cost. Now you’re knee deep in the sales process faced with the challenge of assigning a price to a project requiring a range of creative services.

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Five Types of Clients and How to Manage Them (As Inspired by The Office)

As designers of both print and the web, most of our professional responsibilities seem to revolve around aesthetic decisions – which typeface will look most legible at this resolution, or which color scheme will effectively draw the eye of our audience.

But an oft-overlooked aspect of the job involves effectively communicating and collaborating with clients, who are truly the lifeblood of any marketing industry. Depending on the day, a designer may have to play the role of psychologist, motivator, or even soothsayer to ensure that the client’s goals are successfully met in a creative project.

Unfortunately, no two clients have exactly the same personality or work style, which rules out any one-size-fits-all approach to client communication.

There are, however, several archetypes we can use to describe clients that may help us to better understand and communicate with our creative overlords.

Being an avid fan of the hit comedy series The Office, I sought to ascribe these personality traits to some of my favorite Dunder Mifflin employees as a means of establishing a common cultural experience and hopefully putting a light-hearted spin on the subject. With any luck, you’ve met or worked with some of these types of clients before, and could benefit from some new strategies in collaborating with them in the future.

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3 Definitions That Will Transform Your Leads

When I first started working with business owners on their digital marketing campaigns, I was amazed to learn that many of my clients weren’t hurting for leads when they first called me. No, they had too many leads – they wanted less. Their sales teams were wasting too much time chasing down leads that were either dead ends or small potatoes. High-quality leads, meanwhile, were likely getting left on the table, or at least not getting properly nurtured.

Unless you’re just starting out, chances are that you’ve run into this problem. Who do you blame? Your marketing team for funneling too many low-quality leads to sales? Your sales team for not being able to tell the difference or follow up adequately? Everyone? No one?

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The Complete Guide to “Merging” Google+ Local & Brand Pages

Like many businesses, LUMINUS had two Google+ pages for a long time: a Brand page and a Local page. And like many businesses, it took us longer than it should have to figure out to merge both Google pages together.

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Google shows Mobile-Friendly tag in Search Results

Recently we posted a link on Twitter and Facebook to the Google press release regarding their rollout of the new “Mobile-Friendy” tag in their search results. This not only improves the user experience on Google directing them to the most mobile friendly websites available in the search, but also benefits those that have taken steps to redevelop their current or new websites to respond to a variety of device sizes to benefit their visitors’ experience.

There are a lot of websites designed & built between 2010-2012 that while not appearing out dated in terms of looks are out dated in terms of structure. Namely, being able to respond to the visitors devices screen size and collapse vertically as needed. Even sites in our portfolio from that time period follow into this category.

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