It’s time to get Wicked”¦

After much arm twisting, pleading, begging and bribing of Aaron, Technosailor himself, and Steven Fisher, of VentureFiles fame, I bring you the content whose focus is to help you get into the mindset of the visual side of marketing your business, product or self. Each week, I’m going to go over topics from what to look for, and expect from, a designer, the things you should think about for your marketing materials and most things marketing/design related for the new, or current, business owners.

Really the decision to create a blog that is geared not to designers, but people either in their first year of business or are just wanting to think about the visual branding of their company, all started over a couple cups of coffee. There was no real arm twister, or the like, but a general idea that this type of blog series might be worth while.

My name is Michael Dougherty and I’m bringing my years of experience to help be the translator between the business owner and the designer. Being of the rare breed of designers who balance well between print and web (there’s a world of difference between the two) that designs with a focus on sales and marketing my clients, I spend a lot of time finding creative solutions to help business owners, marketing managers and start up companies effectively understand why a visual brand is an extremely effective tool for their business that not only needs to be created, but maintained and nurtured.

To get it out of the way, the tone of this blog series will not be stuffy, terminology laden, or over your head. I understand that things like bleed, font weight, appropriate resolution for the medium and a wide variety of industry related terms may turn you off or confuse you. So relax. If those do pop up from time to time I’m going to find easily understandable comparisons to put them in plain speak for you. This series should feel like a conversation with someone over a cup of coffee.

So grab a cup of your favorite beverage, of course mine being coffee, and join me each week for a rare glimpse into the mindset, expectations and opinions of a professional graphic/web designer. I also look forward to hearing your horror stories, successes and thoughts on each topic.

So That's What You Believe…

Just some random thoughts I have.

  1. Social Media is only as valuable as what you put into it.
  2. Your Blogging success is not based on the number of pageviews, but the number of “conversions” (forget advertising here, folks. Think deeper)
  3. Your company needs to be blogging because you can then facilitate the conversation that is happening anyway
  4. Presence Marketing can be the most effective use of social media. Read: Twitter rocks
  5. You can be more effective as a well connected, thoughtful blogger with 500 subscribers than you can as a “powerhouse” blogger with 500,000.
  6. Search feeds can be more important than blog feeds
  7. The best networking happens over alcohol, after 10pm
  8. Ask questions, receive feedback, take action.
  9. Great business is birthed out of great community which is made of great individuals with great ideas.
  10. Share and share alike.
  11. Don’t be offended if someone criticizes you.
  12. Be honest and constructive, not destructive
  13. Laugh at yourself
  14. Don’t oversell by spinning.
  15. Recurring sales come from trust.
  16. You cannot control your brand, but you can influence how it is percieved
  17. There are valuable things in social media. Everything else is not valuable.
  18. Early adopters are geeks, but they are also filters.
  19. Never say never, but if concerned, proceed with caution. But do proceed.
  20. Generations change. Practices change. Principles remain the same.
  21. A blog is the best resumé someone can have
  22. Your archives will always be there. It’s your chance to shape what they will look like.
  23. Think differently about the value of traffic. It may not be as effective as you think it is.
  24. Do not be afraid to be vocal.
  25. Think clearly and coherently and shape your words, but spend more time thinking than you do writing.

What would you add?

Video Questions for Social Media Club DC

Thursday night, I’m going to be speaking at Social Media Club DC. If you’re in the area, I’d love to have you come by. It’s at Viget Labs in Falls Church, Virginia and you should RSVP to Larissa Faire by Tuesday if you plan on attending. It is BYOB – Bring Your Own Beverage (non alcoholic, if I recall). More details here.

The name of the talk is Blog Draft Day: Making it into the Bigs, and I’ll be talking about some of the things bloggers encounter when trying to break out of the “long tail”. Specifically, my talk will be around marketing, message and brand and I’ll be sharing some of my own thoughts as a blogger who has enjoyed reasonable success. I’ll also be sharing some of the things I’ve learned at b5media working with bloggers who have encountered their own success.

One of the things I really want to engage is questions from both the audience as well as those of you who can’t make it to the event in person. Because of the good folks at Viddler, you can send your videos which I will try to share at SMC, via comments right here on this blog. Click on the “Record or choose a video?” link in the comments section and you can record your video right there and it will post as a comment. Simple as that. No special knowledge, or gear. As long as your computer has a webcam, then the hard part is taken care of for you.

Give it a try. It can’t hurt.

(Now to test out the ustream embed for Technosailor TV)