31 Days: Be inspired to stay branded


Be inspired to stay branded! I love my GOC branding, then I see someone else's site ...oh, I love their logo...oh, maybe I should switch to pink...oh they did this better than me...oh, oh. And then I waste *way* too much time, re-thinking and over-thinking every visual decision I've made. Is this ever you!?!?!?! So some small encouragement today to finish our series. Create an inspiration board. Here's mine... Include words that describe your brand, along with images, colors and patterns that reinforce who you are.  You can do it on the computer or cut pictures out of magazines, anything that suits you.  This should make you happy … [Read more...]

31 Days: Adding products or services to your business


Adding products or services to your business Being the creative entrepreneur that you are, new ideas are bound to lead to business expansion.  Over time you may learn new skills or develop new ideas that should be incorporated into your business or blog! But be careful, you've worked too hard educating people on who you are to let it all go now! In college I worked for a wonderful consignment shop that also sold new wedding dresses and was a full-service bridal salon. Confusing right? How to you market to both people? How do you teach people that the clothes are used but the dresses are new.  Just a few of my uneducated, but often … [Read more...]

31 Days: Your 10 second introduction


Your 10 Second Introduction Hey! I'm Christine, I own a graphic and web design shop called Great Oak Circle, specializing in design elements for handmade shops, small businesses, and bloggers. What do you do? umm....I....well....one time I found this door by the roadside and painted it and now....well I paint junk I find...but I also carry this line of chalk paint....but it's online....I mean, but my candlesticks are online also, I just started making those 1..no 2 years ago...let me pull up a picture...wait... are you on facebook? interesting huh? hmmm....what's your 10 second introduction? We've spent so much time this month working … [Read more...]

31 Days: Hiring a Designer


Hiring a designer First off, this is not a plug for you to hire me.  It IS a plug for you to consider hiring a designer to get your 31 days of madness in a tight, well-branded box...  I just felt it was necessary after hurling graphics and print items and websites your way. Things to consider: 1. Be sure you like their style.  Being a designer is being an artist, and like all artists, they each have a point of view.  Look through their portfolio to determine how your style fits with theirs. 2. Consider price, but also consider what's being offered. Designers range greatly in price, but don't be quick to choose the cheapest...or most … [Read more...]

31 Days: Designed items with your logo


Branding your biz or blog with designed logo items HEY! Sorry to take a few days off, I was out of town for a beautiful family wedding. I'm going to try to catch up before the end of October...no promises:)  So let's talk today about branded items for your blog or biz.  We've talked about all the print materials you could possibly need to promote and advertise your business, but you can also sell print items to promote yourself. Things like t-shirts, tote bags, etc can all have a custom design!  I've done a few tshirts recently that I'll show as an example. These items could include a Bible verse, favorite quote, fun saying or tagline. … [Read more...]

31 Days: Banners and craft shows


Branding with banners and craft shows I know this totally leaves some of you out, but I think this topic is important enough that it deserves some space here... Craft shows/festivals with booths are really difficult.  Sometimes your time + money + energy = very few sales.  You need to do some homework to determine which show has a good turnout of YOUR customer. Let's just assume you've done that, and now you are rip roaring to go on your booth. This is totally just my advice, you are welcome to dump it in the trash, but it comes from my experience of being in shows, designing for clients, and actually going to shows...Branding is really … [Read more...]

31 Days: Creating a business card


Branding your biz or blog with a business card Hey, welcome back friends! I trust yesterday's post helped narrow down your print must-haves, and I hope it includes a business card.  We've grown up around business cards, haven't we? Every store, service and sales person has one, which can leave most of us with stacks and stacks of them stuffed in cup holders and wallet pockets.  So isn't it pretty important that you have a business card AND that it stands out?! Let's talk design Some things to consider: What kind of business or blog do you have? Do you need the professional standard rectangle or can you do something totally … [Read more...]

31 Days: Print materials to promote your biz or blog


Print materials to promote your biz or blog Today's pretty easy actually, we are going to brainstorm and make a list of all the print materials you need.  I create more and more print for bloggers who don't sell product, it's just handy, so if that's you, don't tune me out today:) Ok, so put pen to paper and start listing any materials that would help get work done, get the word out or increase your product presentation. Now I know it can be expensive to get these items designed, printed and stocked in your shop.  I think it's better to do a few things well than several things half-baked, so let's think about what you can combine on your … [Read more...]

31 Days: Branding with Instagram


Branding your biz or blog with Instagram Confession: I really really really love Instagram.  This one is a little different than the previous social media sites in that it's pretty much only for mobile devices.  You can login to your account online, but posting and browsing photos happens from your iphone, etc. General tips: 1. You can run a photo stream on your blog. In wordpress I use a widget appropriately called, Instagram Widget.  If you use Blogger, this tutorial explains a sidebar install. She does a great job, so I'll send you  over...but y'all come back now...ya hear? 2. You can join fun monthly picture parties or hashtag … [Read more...]

31 Days: Branding with Pinterest


Branding your biz or blog with Pinterest Pinterest is an online cork board that allows you to pin ideas from anywhere on the Internet, and organize them by topic. You can find and follow friends to share ideas.  Pinterest is made up of 2 basic pages, the news feed as seen above and your profile page as seen below. So how do you brand Pinterest? A few days ago we talked about photo branding, and this a major reason to do it! There's no guarantee that someone will give you credit or link correctly when they pin an idea, but if your logo is stamped on the photo it doesn't matter. Name your photos well. Confession: I'm awful at this. But … [Read more...]

31 Days: Branding your business with Twitter


Branding your business or blog with Twitter Who's ready for more social media?? Who's totally overwhelmed?? I'm going to take your silence as an indication that you are on the edge of your chair for today's topic:) In brief, twitter is a social media site that offers 140 characters to say, scream, link...or tweet whatever you want. You can follow other tweeters, they can follow your tweets, you can tweet tweet tweet until your tweeting heart is tweeted out.  That's just how it works over there.  Have 1 million things a day you want to say? Here's your platform people.  This site commonly uses text abbreviated talk and casual language. … [Read more...]

31 Days: Branding with facebook


 Branding with Facebook Welcome back friends! I'm excited to spend the next few days talking about 4 big social media platforms, facebook, twitter, pinterest and instagram. Are there more? YES, but these are the biggies that you need to be in on. What is facebeook? Facebook is a social media site aimed at connecting friends and sharing pictures, links and life information. Over time facebook allowed business pages, adding a whole new dimension to sharing what you love with friends.  Facebook mainly consists of a news feed, personal and business pages, and assorted groups.   Because facebook was built for personal use, it works best to … [Read more...]

31 Days: Branding photos with your logo


Branding your photos So you've slaved over your latest DIY blog post or fun new shop item...but you aren't done yet! It's time to brand those photos!! Why?  In the land of instant photo sharing through pinterest, facebook and the like, you don't stand a chance of getting proper credit for your work.  You need credit so you can build followers, uh...or...actually sell that merchandise!  Confession...you won't see many photos branded on my site yet. But you will now! Since I finally put aside time to get this under control.:) How do you do it? If you happen to have photoshop or another image editing program, use it. If you don't, I found … [Read more...]

31 Days: Taking Good Pictures


please, please, please, please, please, please... Take good pictures!!!! This is me {flying a big banner in the sky}... TAKE GOOD PHOTOS!!!! I promise it will change your business. I know what you're thinking. 1. I don't really have time...uh...if you want to be successful you better have time. 2. I don't have a good camera....we will take care of that right now. 3. People will get the idea....uh...no they won't ~ I've compiled three tutorials to get your photos on the right track.  I have completed each of these and recommend them highly! Nope, I'm not getting paid to promote them, although I am an affiliate with Shoot Fly Shoot, so … [Read more...]

31 Days: Branding your email signature

email signature

Branding your email signature Can I be honest? I am totally done talking about websites...and I guess email...done done done.  At least this is the last day right? We are talking about pictures tomorrow! So let's talk today about email signatures, the friendly little love you have at the bottom of an email message.  The one below is from gmail. There are practically as many opinions on this as there are people, so here's the quick wrap-up...DON'T GET CRAZY! What you should include: Your name Business/Blog Name Your Title Link to your website Links to a few other social media...that you would be ok with sharing professionally. What … [Read more...]