"But, it's just a postcard, it can't take THAT long..."
After "one of those weeks" I sat down to reflect on all the things that happened this week and realized that each small step that it takes in the grand scheme of things is worth the finished product. Mind you, this happened as I was catching my breath from carrying my work luggage and a 40+ pound box full of a client's post cards into my house, but reflecting nonetheless. Project after project, all making progress, but all still in progress. Now, finally, we get to completely cross the task off our list, done.
It's not unusual that we often overlook the time it takes to get to the finished product. It is not uncommon that we have clients who do not understand the amount of time and work that goes into one "small" project. Sometimes they try to take these on themselves and often learn a lesson. Most of the time they do it once and call in a marketing professional for help. For the few brave souls that try it and love it, my hat goes off to you. I can assure you, I spend more time talking to my design software & PC than I do talking to breathing humans. It may seem small but, it will result in hours of work.
Two 5X7 postcards for The Andrew Mazza Foundation's two upcoming fundraisers marketing took almost a month each to create. That sounds crazy right? Yeah, we know, it is crazy! But, here's the steps you don't see.
The process starts with asking questions, learning about the job your doing and the vision of your client. I can design anything you want me to design, but I want it to be yours, not mine. I turn into a proud mom every time I open one of these boxes and see hours of hard work and way too many cups of coffee on a tangible product. I get excited to show you and hope you love it as much as I do, I want you to be as excited to show this off to your customers! The more excited you are about them, the better they are going to do their job.
So, once we chat and I understand your vision and figure out the exact information you want on your design, it's all up to me. I don't just wake up every morning saying "oh, this is going to be a breeze, I know exactly how we will do this". If that was the case I would be pushing out ten designs an hour from my yacht instead of staring out a gloomy window working one project’s edits all day (a rainy Friday in NEPA today). It starts with creating a handful of designs you follow through on about halfway and delete. Four of those you've made it the whole way and even fixed a few times convincing yourself maybe that's it, but it’s not. Three or four of these might end up holding a piece to your final puzzle but something still isn't clicking. You get frustrated and walk away for another cup of coffee and BAM! that's exactly how it needs to be. Once you get back to the computer things just flow, you wonder how you get brain blocks sometimes, this stuff IS easy. Now you create the perfect design, taking elements from the prior fails and elements that will tie everything together. Yes, its done! Then, after about fifteen download and checks, because everything needs to be symmetrically perfect and proof read each time, you are finally ready to present the "final" product. You send the email and wait.....
Now, the fun part, a good game of digital ping pong. You now spend time going back and forth countless times with a client because again, this is not my project, it’s theirs. They need to look at this and say "I'm excited to have my name on this product, I’m excited to give everyone I see one of these!". We make edits and changes and try different things, and make it perfect. This can go quickly, if your lucky, sometimes it can take weeks. But, once the "approve" comes through and the order is on it's way, it all becomes worth it. Opening that box and being proud and excited to hand something you created to a fellow business owner makes all those hours worth it!
Today, I had a rainy dreary tired Friday and chugged along, then when I got home from a few errands, there it was! I sat looking out my office window all day waiting for that UPS truck and tracking that package and finally, a hard copy, a result. Any industry has it’s up days and its down days, but every industry has it’s proud days. Next time your small business or organization is working with a marketing professional, please make sure they will be as excited about your finished product as you are. Make sure that they will carry a 40lb box with all their other bags in the rain just so that as soon as they get in the door they can see YOUR product. All of those tiny little components that go into a “small” project, should always have big results.
Today as I reflected on the ups and downs of running a business I got excited because these postcards, business cards, flyers, posters, websites, social content, and any other “small” project should make any business owner big excited!
I am excited every time I get to work with a new client, I am excited every time I get to work with an existing client, but today (aside from my post card) I am really excited to start this blogging journey with all of you and let you grow and learn with Golden Owl Consulting! We hope you are excited too, and thank you all for your endless support in all of our "small" projects.
(Cover photo credit to another amazing female entrepreneur, Valerie Shimonis, Personal Branding Photog.)