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Describe What You Do In 5 Or 6 Words

Describe What You Do In 5 or 6 Words

We craft stories for clients — all  with a single focus being the right and best choice. They all have one thing in common: the message that shapes the identity of a company.

One of the best examples of a well defined message is MD Anderson Cancer Center. They “make cancer history”. It’s very clear from just a few words what they do. There is no guessing. Every message they send is about eliminating this horrible disease. Their websites, advertisements, signage, literature, and their logo with that strong line that strikes out the C word. They established their message first and from there they developed the rest of their marketing and business essentials.

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What Do We Need To Accomplish This Year?

What Do We Need to Accomplish this Year?

It’s the month of lists. Notes on the desk, stickies on the computer screen, and reminders set on the phone. Today is the day to get them sorted out.

We all make lists and we usually end up setting most of them aside because we get inundated with the day-to-day tasks of running our business, so they seem as though they just aren’t a priority anymore. But they are.

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Warming Up For A Trumpet Solo

Warming Up for A Trumpet Solo

I don’t have a lot of musical talent. In fact, I can’t play any instrument at all, short of Chopsticks on the piano. Standing on a stage and performing a piece of music is the last place you’ll find me, and it may be a long shot for you, too. The spotlight is a stressful place even when we’re just talking about what we do. But you need to get comfortable talking about the work you do and what you’ve accomplished. You need to “toot your own horn” regularly.

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When Losing A Client Means A Job Well Done

When Losing a Client Means A Job Well Done

I’m glad I was sitting down, or I’m not sure I would have been able to mask the surprise. It’s possible that I didn’t hide it well at all. Because the truth is I was thrilled. My year-long client had just told me that she was moving on and really wouldn’t need my services anymore. We were done. Over. Kaput. Fin. And we were both positively giddy about it.

LastingImpressionsMastYou see, I was supposed to work myself out of the job. Our work together had resulted in the best case scenario for her — an enviable new opportunity in her chosen industry and niche.

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Lessons, Legends, And Letterforms

Lessons, Legends, and Letterforms

Lessons

A week at the HOW Design Live Conference is a great way to learn new things, and relearn what you should have remembered. Here are a few of the most memorable lessons, in no particular order:

  • Practice, practice, practice. Then practice some more.
  • A digital business action plan will help your creative business maintain momentum.
  • I want to spend next Tuesday on my patio having breakfast. This was an answer to the question, “If you didn’t have to earn a living, what would you do next Tuesday?”
  • I still have a hard time appreciating the value that younger people bring to the conversation when I know I have so much to learn.
  • Keep your room key with you all the time, even when you step out into the hall for some ice. Yes, I was fully dressed, but felt like a loser riding down the elevator to the front desk.
  • If you own a business, you will sell your business to others more often than work in your business.
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Are You Making Your Job Harder Than It Needs To Be?

Are You Making Your Job Harder Than It Needs To Be?

It has been humbling to teach Adobe InDesign the last few weeks to a room full of eager creatives at SMU CAPE. These students are bright, often teaching the rusty teacher, and they will do some pretty exciting stuff with the program in the future.

LastingImpressionsMastThe variety of functions with InDesign made it tricky to teach. There’s always more than one way to do something. That flexibility can make simple projects much more complex because we choose the looooong way to get the job done the first time. One evening before the lesson started, a young woman showed me a catalog she created way before she took our class. The finished piece turned out really well, but now that she knew some how-tos of the program, she knew she made her job much more complicated than necessary.

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