Spam Filters

Some network admins take great pride in the fact that they can block everything, including the bulk of legitimate emails. It’s killing online businesses – and the business owners don’t even know it because they never see how many legitimate business emails get thrown out with the trash.  If only they knew.

We have trouble getting emails through to certain clients when we have the word “logo” in the email.

“Logo”!

For crying out loud! Just because a logo designer spammed you in 2003 does not mean that you never ever want to speak to anyone about any logo ever again.

You might start a business next year and need a logo, but thanks to the spam filtering awesomeness of your network admin, you will receive only silence when you request design quotes from designers. An empty inbox. You won’t know why.

Your boss might ask for your opinion on the new company logo and think you are rude to simply ignore her like that. She might send follow-up emails and demand a response, but you will continue to ignore her, wondering why she hasn’t asked for your opinion on the new company logo.

Spam filters are much, much worse than spam.

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It’s Still Business

Online business is different from “offline” business in many respects, but it’s still “business”.

I see fewer head-over-heals, sell-the-farm-and-get-a-web-site mistakes than in the early days of the web, but even 16 years into the life of the web it seems that the majority of people don’t get it.

I started my first online business while I still had a day job. About a year later the company I worked for went bust and I had to fall back on my online income to survive. It was amazing to see how quickly and how vastly my online business improved once I upgraded it in my mind from being a hobby/extra income to being the main and only income. As soon as that switch flipped in my head I was able to find sloppy mistakes on my web sites that I simply hadn’t noticed there before.

It’s purely a mindset. Treat it like a serious business and it might become one.

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Every Logo Has Its Day

In the world of pre-designed logos I’m amazed to see how clients scroll past gems to purchase the ugliest logos.

Alright, “ugly” is subjective, but still, a client will scroll to some obscure corner of Biz-Logo and fall in love with a logo that some designer at Biz-Logo created 7 years back. It’s been sitting there on the site for 7 years. Seven years and never been sold! That alone tells you something about its appeal. Along comes Sally and she’s thrilled to find that logo, which is exactly what she’s been looking for.

I think it’s brilliant.

Sally obviously has unique taste. If not for a pre-designed logo that happens to hit the target, she would have had to pay several times as much and she would have struggled to convince a custom logo designer to create something as “different” as that pre-designed logo. Chances are that she would have to settle for something that’s less perfect, in her eyes. I’m thrilled that Sally is thrilled about a logo that nobody else likes.

There’s a client out there for every logo ever created.

It’s like an animal shelter, except the logos don’t age as fast as the dogs and the older dogs are just as cute (to some) as the puppies – and every logo finds a loving home eventually.

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It’s OK

It’s OK if not everyone appreciates your designs. If you are trying to please everyone then you’d probably have to produce something so generic that it no longer qualifies as design. By definition design is about appealing to people’s aesthetic sensibility, which is very much influenced by personal taste.

If everyone likes your work, you are not aiming high enough.

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Quality in Graphic Design

It’s hard to define.

It is not only about awards won.

It is not only about the number of clients.

It is not only about skill or experience.

It is about service more than anything else, in my opinion. About actually listening to the client and delivering what she needs, how she needs it – even if that does not win you any awards.

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Search Engine Marketing is Dead

Or at least dying.

In the early days of the Internet we produced crap and wrestled it to the top of the search engines.

No more.

Build it and they will come. If it’s worthy, the Internet will push it to the top. And they WILL come.

It’s a bright new day. Thanks to advances in search algorithms and social media we can now all get back to what we do well and stop worrying about how we will get it seen. I am done with “SEO”.

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Selling In A Saturated Market

The online logo design shopper has an immense pool of logo design web sites to choose from.

They are all pretty much the same. Small differences in the price maybe. This one might have a better guarantee and that one perhaps offers more revisions, but those are not the considerations that will make the logo design shopper choose one over the other.

When confronted with overwhelming choice, the shopper does one of two things:

1. She goes for the top. Whoever is #1 on Google for “logo design”.

2. She buys where she feels safe.

If you are going to compete for the #1 spot on Google for “logo design”, then good luck to you.

For the rest of us, making her feel safe is the only realistic option. It’s a different approach than selling to someone who desperately needs what you sell. She doesn’t. You need to win her trust. The best way to do that is to show her (not tell her) that others are buying from you and are happy with your work. On BizLogo I decided to do that right in the header. A big picture of a smiling lady and her testimonial. It’s a real testimonial (the only kind you should use!) and there is a link to countless more. In my own estimation, testimonials and referrals sell more logos for BizLogo than our low prices, guarantee or any other feature.

The catch is: You have to generate testimonials by over-delivering. If the client only receives what she expects to receive, then testimonials will be hard to come by.

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Are You A Replaceable Designer?

Will the company you work for miss you when you move on?

You might think that you are a valuable designer because you get through all your work every day, produce good designs and always deliver on time.

The questions is, are you the only designer that can get through that much work a day, produce good designs and always deliver on time?

In today’s economy there is probably someone who can do what you do and who will do it for a smaller salary.

To be a irreplaceable, you need to be more than a good designer. You need to find ways to add value. Become THE BEST at something and apply that knowledge to benefit the company.

The same applies to freelancers. Give your clients a reason to come back. If you do only what is expected, you are not doing enough. If the quality of your work is acceptable, it is time to start aiming higher.

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Starting A Logo Design Site?

By now the industry is just about saturated. There are thousands of logo design web sites on the Net, all offering virtually the same thing.

Some of them have an established client base.

Some make very little money indeed.

We welcome the competition, but what is it that you will be doing differently?

When I started BizLogo there were probably 4 or 5 serious players in online logo design. I took stock of what they did and found ways in which I could offer more for less.

I am baffled by the number of logo design sites that are still popping up everywhere, all saying and selling the same thing.

I feel sorry for them. I page through their web sites and see serious time invested there. Someone missed out on family time putting the web site together. That would be fine if he/she could make money with it, but there’s just no way. There is nothing new there. It’s just another logo design site.

Why?

Online logo design is not a cash cow. You still need to think, invent and plan to be successful.

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