Sunday, April 25, 2010

Connecting, Successfully!

Ever wonder why some business people have tons of followers on twitter or have facebook pages that have reached the “limit” for friending? Or how about the person offline that networks flawlessly and you would give your eye tooth to be like? I pondered this thought and researched out what makes a person have a successful connection to others, online and off.

Really, it all starts by having a passion with a purpose. For example, at a meet-up offline or a chat room online, you will find that there are those that set out to greet, meet and REMEMBER others! It isn’t at all that difficult if you take the time to talk to people about yourself and your business. When asked “what do you do?”, answer with enthusiasm and respect for your business. Don’t just offer a one line chat stopper like: “I am a graphic designer.” An appropriate answer would be: “I own an online company and design for Designs. I love to create logos, book cover art, and stationery. I also enjoy wii fit Pilates.”

A great tip for connecting to someone is to REMEMBER their name and face. There are many tricks out there to help you not to forget. For example, imagine the person in front of you as a favorite movie star or even a family member with the same first name. This will trigger your memory next time you meet!

Did you ever meet a person while networking that wants to tell you how you should “do this” or “do that” to succeed? Instead of laughing it off or making it clear to the person why the suggestion won’t work – “Make the person who gives Advice feel Helpful” and offer GRATITUDE and thanks. This will eliminate tension and automatically create comradery.

Always show respect and disregard gossip of others. Gossip creates mistrust and makes for an unhealthy environment to network. Become the role model and point that conversation in a new direction with kindness and integrity. By having another view you can connect successfully online and off!
Do you have any suggestions to connect successfully to others online and off? Leave a comment to share!

Kristine Sheehan Designs

(ref. Author Jill Spiegel, How to Talk to Anyone About Anything! The Secrets to Connecting)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Getting Back RSVPs

Planning a birthday party for your child, inviting their class and then waiting for RSVPs can be more stressful than awaiting test results. It’s like a personal round of American Idol. Will the children like your child enough to bug their parents to respond to the invite? How will it affect your child’s self-esteem if only a few come back or worse, none?

How do you get back those darn RSVPs? Why don’t people return them? My guess is we are living in an age of info overload and people are basically procrastinating coach potatoes. “Later” is the mantra of our society, really, so when you give them a date, they take all that time and sometimes more. So to improve your chances, you need all possible ways to contact people – phone numbers, email addresses, street addresses if you can get them. One parent in my daughter’s class sent the invite once then a follow-up one the week of the event, which was smart because I hold on to the invites but don’t always remember to call. I’m sorry. It’s not intentional. It’s just that’s sometimes it’s hard to know if the scheduling will work or even if we’ll have money for someone else’s birthday gift that week if other stuff is going on. So let’s start with the basics. For those who don’t know and don’t want to admit they don’t know, RSVP means Respondez S'il Vous Plait. Translation – respond please! A brief history, according to How Stuff Works:

An Italian diplomat, Conte Baldassare Castiglione, wrote the first book about proper behavior among nobility in the 16th century. Many of the practices of Western etiquette, however, came from the French court of King Louis XIV in the late 17th and early 18th c­enturies. At Versailles, his palace, Louis XIV had the rules for court behavior written on what the French referred to as "tic­kets," or "étiquette." The tickets either were signs posted at Versailles or were the invitations issued to court events with the rules of behavior printed on the back; experts give different versions of the origin. And French was the language of refinement and high society through the 19th century in the United States. Judith Martin, the author of etiquette books and a syndicated newspaper columnist known as "Miss Manners," thinks that "R.S.V.P." came about as a polite way of reminding people of something that they should already know: If you receive an invitation, you should reply.

How do you get those replies? I found a few ways you can try:

If you ask guests to RSVP by a specific date, most parents will call! For the rest, you will need to get on the phone to find out who is coming. Just because a parent hasn’t responded, don’t assume their child isn’t coming to your party! And you really do need a head count for planning purposes, because you want to have enough food and party favors for every child who attends the party. When making the call, you can say something like “Hello, this is Maggie Jones. Will your son Kevin be able to join us for the birthday party this weekend?” To keep track of responses as you speak to the parents, print a copy of our guest list sheet and keep it near the phone. You should also be prepared to answer a common question from other parents, which is "what gift would your child like?" Responding with "it doesn't matter" won't help the other parent, so be ready with a few ideas. You can say something like "Thank you for asking. Jack really loves Legos, dinosaurs, and books about cars."
­ ­- Birthday in a Box

Here’s a nifty tip from Diane Pollitt, Party Guide at via

Mail your invitations on a Wednesday! Why Wednesday you ask? If an invitation is mailed on Wednesday it is more likely to arrive at its destination on Friday or Saturday, this is the objective. Receiving the invitation on the weekend, instead of a weekday, will give your guest time to read and return your RSVP more promptly….Your party-goers will have just a little more time to deal with their social calendar, coordinate dates, travel, babysitters and other incidental details. It becomes a coordinated effort on your part that your guests will appreciate.

If you have a way to get back those RSVPs, please share!
Monica Dennis is President and Creative Director of Village Works Enterprises LLC, the makers of fun, fast and unforgettable customized jigsaw puzzles with a cultural flair!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

A Business Logo: The Sun in Your Customers Sky

Starting a new business or revitalizing an existing one is an exciting endeavor. And, there are many ways to get noticed to make a mark in the big business world online and off. An entrepreneur may start by having an extraordinary product/service to sell/offer but have no clue how to bring in the market buyers. Although I’m not a marketing expert and can’t advise you in marketing techniques, I can be of service by telling you that you should have a creative logo designed to represent your business. A properly marketed business needs a logo for customer recognition and retention of that business.

A logo in all its integrity is the “sun in your customers sky”, “the star in your customer’s galaxy” or in other words it will make your service/product get noticed and remembered.
A good designer will create a logo that is simply memorable. One view or many a creative logo will create instant recognition. Recognition and admiration is exactly what a business needs!

You may find a designer by recommendation or a search on the web. However you choose to find your designer you should know a few questions to ask her/him before you begin.

1.) Does the designer work by contract? What the customer and designer expect and will ultimately receive at the end of the design job depends on the contract! Read fine print, ask about deadlines, ask about final cost, and revise where necessary. Agree, Sign off and begin!

2.) How will I receive my design? File formats to ask for are .ai, pdf, eps, jpg, png. Know that you need a file that is 72dpi for online viewing and a file that is a minimum of 300dpi for printing purposes. Be sure the format you receive can be utilized in different ways. For example, can the logo design be reduced to fit on a keychain or enlarged to fit a billboard?

3.) Does the designer need specific pantone colors or will you leave it up to the designer to choose them for you? Ultimately the designer should provide you with a logo design that can be converted from color to black and white. No matter what the color of the logo is, it should keep its strength and integrity for online view and in print format.

These few tips from The Merry Bird Designs should get you started with your research for a business logo design. Remember, for customer recognition and retention of your product and/or services be sure the Logo is Simply Memorable, the Logo can be converted to Black and White and the designer provided the Logo in a File Format that can be enlarged/reduced for future printing.

The sun in your customers sky is shining already!