Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Warranted Endorsement

When asked I'm always happy to make a recommendation on a certain company or brand that I've had good luck with but I'm not usually outwardly vocal when it comes to peddling someone's product or service. So this instance is a little different and only because of the huge personal weight it holds for me.

Days after our son, Rowan, was born his mom, Jenn, suggested we keep track of the special things he accomplished in a log. I managed to take things too far and before I knew it I was writing a daily journal of the incredible things he did every day. Not an easy task to keep up with but I met my goal and recorded each of his first 365 days of making our lives that much more amazing.

I always knew I wanted to create something special with that journal once it was complete but was worried cost might make that difficult. Luckily our friend/favourite family portrait photographer, Andrea Kellaway, recommended Photobook Canada. She had used them to create albums from some of the weddings she had shot and suggested I talk to Shannon for some insight. Definitely a good idea!

With the journal complete, a huge collections of photos thanks mostly to Jenn's persistence and some help from Shannon, I was able to put together a 196 page book to commemorate Rowan's first year of life. Of course it had to be special - a gift for Jenn, grandparents and most importantly - Rowan himself. I always imagined it as something he could hold in his strong hands twenty-five years from now and have some insight into just how incredible he made that first year for his mom and dad.

And this is where the endorsement part comes in - two weeks after releasing my files I met Shannon to pick-up five extraordinarily beautiful, awe-inspiring, Rowan deserving books. Imagine that, so unique that only five exist in the entire world!

I would suggest to anyone - creative or otherwise - to take a look at the Photobook Canada site. To understand the significance of what can be accomplished - from Gutenberg's first press as one of the most influential events of the second millennium to the ability to produce your own single book. That has to be better than giving your mom a blender for her next birthday, no?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Self-promotion or self-loathing?

All the recent updates to the web site, the addition of social media outlets like this blog and a dreaded Twitter account, have been a precursor to a soon-to-be-mailed series of promotional cards. And while many believe that traditional direct-mail may be dead, it is still a vehicle of promotion. I need to drive new business my way and this is just one more way to let local businesses know that I'm here and I can deliver.

My only nagging reservation is the message itself. I certainly don't want to be known as a 'design whore' or the No Frills of creative development. Do I? The message is simple - "passion, creativity, experience, value". It's that final word that strikes a small twinge of fear in me and questions of whether or not I'm positioning myself to sell my expertise short.

But in truth I am confident I can deliver on all four nouns and in doing so offer a valuable service to every potential client. Hell, I already do it for my existing clients. I think it's just a matter of saying it out load that has me a little wary. I can feel the passion; my creativity has garnered strong results for my clients and the best compliment of all - referrals; I've dedicated more than thirteen years to this industry; and yes - VALUE. My business structure doesn't hinder my passion, creativity or experience, but it certainly allows me to offer those abilities at a better bottom line to my clients when compared to the typical costs associated with larger agencies.

I've done the work, I have the fire and I know I can deliver. And yes - all at a great value.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The First Spark

I feel my shoulders tense a little as I prepare to commit to the new world of social media. Twitter account added, Facebook page in place and this blog – all elements of the soon to be released and revamped Igniter web site. Once launched it's easy access to any of the aforementioned outlets. And all demanding the almost constant attention demanded of today's connected, media savvy individuals in order to have any success. I hope I'm up to the task!