Thursday, November 11, 2010

Social networking referral turns into website solution for graphic designer

Showcasing experienced entrepreneurs offers an added marketing communications or social media element to help promote their businesses. In addition, it provides a forum through which they can share solutions to unique business challenges that might be the answer to a similar challenge with which yet another entrepreneur is struggling. This openness of information flows with the following story offered by

Jennifer Strezo
Principal Brand Designer
Red Seal Design

Red Seal Design is a full-service graphic design company specializing in creating signature brands for small businesses. A signature brand is a company’s image or identity that appears on all of its sales and marketing materials. It includes the look of your logo, your brochures, your letterhead, business cards, website, PowerPoint™ presentations, direct mail, newsletters and the like. A signature brand gives companies a more professional look over something that they’ve tried to create themselves or have taken off the Internet. A signature brand will help to set a company apart from its competition and be immediately recognized and long remembered.

We develop customer solutions for your communications materials based on the personality of your company. Red Seal Design doesn’t create a great-looking design without first learning what the image is that the company wants to portray. I begin with a series of basic questions regarding the client’s goals and target audience, but then move into more aesthetic questions pertaining to the client’s likes and dislikes, what adjectives would best describe the compeny, its core values and culture. In this way, my team can create a custom signature brand that truly reflects what the company is all about.

A perfect client for us would be your small business that has been operating for at least three years and in the beginning may have created their own brand identity or used some form of online template, but now is ready to move up to the next level of brand identity. With so many businesses struggling, today, many come to realize that they need to stand out from their competitors. That’s when they come to us for that professionally-designed custom signature brand.

Like most small businesses when they’re just starting out, I had limited funding. While I was able to design my own signature brand for all of my marketing materials, I still needed to hire someone to develop my website which I knew would cost thousands of dollars. The challenge was figuring out how to secure a great custom website design at minimal cost. At first, I attempted to create one on my own, but it was taking up too much of my time and was not getting me to where I needed to be. Meanwhile, I was losing potential business with no website to which I could direct prospective clients. So, after several months of frustration, I decided to seek the help of a professional web developer.

I turned to all of my contacts including those on LinkedIn™ and asked for some referrals. It so happened that a friend from college gave me the name of someone who was able to create economical custom websites by using free WordPress™ and Joomla!™ templates. Among the features that make these templates so attractive is that they allow the website owner to make his or her own website edits avoiding additional costs of having to call back the web developer to make them. This sounded perfect. As a result, I was able to design all of my web pages in Photoshop™ and my web developer found a suitable free template into which he could import all of my custom designs. So, after spending months trying to accomplish this on my own, my new found web developer was able to produce a new customized website for me in a couple of days for a fraction of the cost of HTML development. Meanwhile, he and I have created a partnership that now offers our clients economical custom website designs that focus on signature brands.

Editor's question: Who has struggled with developing their own brand identity? Who believes a fresh new signature brand will help better your position among your competitors - and how?

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