Thursday, July 29, 2010

Gettin Down with the Monkey!

I've mentioned it once or twice before in various blog posts and eNewsletters— MailChimp rocks! If you currently are using a different email marketing provider, I highly recommend making the switch. If you haven't started your email campaign yet, do it soon and be sure to MailChimp it up!

OK, why do I love MailChimp? Let me count the ways:

1. Organized, non-confusing interface
2. Easy to customize templates
3. Great customer service and resources right on their site! (Here's just a few)
4. They're funny and fun to use
5. Data tracking is a breeze (see for yourself)
6. They provide so many ways to network with your social media accounts (seriously!)
7. List management is to the point, and (again!) easy to use! (ahem)
8. Oh, and did I mention you can get a FREE account!?

Need help with your eNewsletter campaigns? Kalico Design can create a customized newsletter template to match your existing brand. Mix up some great design and a little MailChimp magic, and viola, an eNewsletter campaign that YOU can update (or we can do for you, it's your call!). You can't beat that!! Contact us for more info!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'll Admit It. I'm Stuck!

That's right, I'll be the first to admit it… I am totally stuck! I work with clients all day to design their informational and promotional pieces, but when it comes to creating my own, it's like my brain just quits!

I've been brainstorming a good self promotional idea for Kalico for several months now, and still haven't come up with that "just right" idea. I think my problem is that I am putting too much pressure on this one, single self promotional piece. So much, that the creativity and ideas just shrivel up. Why is it so hard to design for yourself!?

Here's my criteria so far:
1. Has to be fun yet functional. (I don't want to send out something just for the hell of it, I want there to be a meaning and a message behind it!)
2. Has to jive well with my existing brand (duh)
3. Would prefer it to be printed or produced with/by eco-conscious materials and vendors
4. I want that "Wow" factor (it needs to be something that you didn't expect and would want to keep)

Well, at least that's a start, I guess. How to you brainstorm for your own self promotional ideas? Any and all suggestions are appreciated! I'll keep banging my head against a wall and hope that an idea will come soon! And when (or if!) that "just right" idea comes, I'll be sure to post the results!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Find It Frederick Summer 2010 is here!

The summer issue of Find It Frederick is now on news stands! Pick up your copy at one of the participating locations, which you can find here. OR, check out the online version above!

FiND iT FREDERiCK is the distinctive shopper's magazine that fuses funky with functional. This (FREE!) portable shopping companion mixes entertaining articles and audacious graphic design (by yours truly!) AND it's small enough to fit in a purse!

Both residents and day-trippers alike are reaching for FiND iT FREDERiCK to see who's who and what's where in and around Frederick, MD—from the newest in noshing to the area's best bargains and most unique finds—to what's hot in culture, arts, and nightlife.
Make sure to pick up your copy today!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Online Marketing Plan

Ok, so most business owners have heard of the importance of a marketing plan. This is where you map out the different types of marketing efforts you'll take part in to promote your business. For me, I actually create a marketing calendar, which highlights what I will do each month to market Kalico Design, as well as what costs are involved. Making the plan is the easy's the sticking-to-it part that's hard!

Recently I have been using more and more social media marketing tactics to promote Kalico. These online marketing tools were not included on my original marketing plan, and most are daily, not monthly, tasks. Luckily, I ran across another talented graphic designers blog post, which focused specifically on devising an online marketing plan. Genius! Thanks Angela at 13thirtyone!

So, here goes. My brand spankin' new online marketing plan and goals:

Goal 1: Spend 2-3 hours per week of online networking. I am going to try my hardest to schedule this in, just like regular client work. This networking can include:
• Updating the Kalico Facebook and Twitter accounts daily
• Brainstorming & Researching ideas for future blog posts weekly
• Commenting on online articles for some of my online networking groups including Savor the Success and Biznik (once per week)

Goal 2: Blog on a Weekly basis. My goal is to keep a balance with my blog posts, including both Kalico office-related News as well as pertinent tips and tricks for clients

Goal 3: Send Kalico eNewsletter out on a quarterly basis. Hmmm, guess this means I'm due for my next newsletter...I better start brainstorming!!

Goal 4: Continue Face-to_face Networking. Ok, so this isn't technically online. But, I find that my face-to-face and online networking tend to overlap. The more people I meet in person, the more people I network with online, and vice versa (for example, after meeting someone at a networking event, I may connect with them through LinkedIn or Facebook to extend and build the relationship). I will attend a weekly BNI (Business Networking International) lunch meeting, and will attend monthly Greater Frederick Advertising Federation (GFAF) educational and social events. I will also continue to look for other face-to-face networking opportunities.

How do you use social media to promote your business? Do you have other suggestions or tactics on how to manage your online networking?