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IFD10Chat 08 December 2010 I think I have everyone – let me know if I’ve missed anyone (and if you’d like to fill in the info I’m missing) @JacquelinPeters – Jacqueline Peters @CygnetUpdates – Vicky Soderberg (Montana) @toptomato – Rock Langston (Texas) @DaphneDrescher – Daphne Drescher (California) @GeorgeButters - George Butters (New Brunswick) @lpmccullough – Lauren McCullough (NYC) @larisaredins – Larisa Redins (Ontario) @HopeJoy – Hope @TheresePope – Therese Pope (California) @KCsez – Kate Carolus @bhas – Bhaskar Sarma (India) @SixFourWeb – Ray Mitchell @nightwriter – Barbara Chaney (Florida) @denicetex – Denice (Texas) @Litterate1 @Shiny_Ideas – Phyl Good @AngieMangino – Angie Mangino @RedStepchild – Lynn Alpert (Missouri) @mepowell – Marie Powell @Shantiwallah – Marie @Jepkulot_01 – Jeff Pacamana @tiffsilverberg – Tiffany Silverberg @busyvee_VA – Nica Mandigma @jubaldo – Jennifer Ubaldo Decision was to find a more “private” format for exchanging information. A new LinkedIn group was created – Freelancer Chat. We probably need a new name for the chat itself – any suggestions? Also – topics for this week? TOPIC: HOW TO DEAL WITH PROJECTS/CLIENTS/FOLLOW UP DURING HOLIDAYS AND VACATIONS - WHAT DO YOU DO? IS IT EFFECTIVE? • • •

I don't have a plan in place for holidays/vacations. I'm sole prop so it's a problem - means I'm always on call Clients suddenly realizing it's almost 2011. Quick! Do something! because a lot of trade shows start in Feb/Mar. I don't have a plan either, but most of my clients are super busy. Although, I got

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some last minute "oh my god" clients lol Because there are 3 of us - we're taking holiday 'shifts' for any emergencies. Clients know we're closing EOD 22 Dec/reopen Jan 4 I just picked up an editing job so I know what you mean about clients looking ahead. I'm in the process of setting up a portable recording "studio". It should be done by next week. So I'll be able to record out of the studio Cool! Do you ever look for work on Guru? I see occasional VO RFPs. Have you tried the collapsible mini-sound booth? Folds to about the size of a big (but featherlight) laptop. the smart clients are planning ahead. They have to if they want things designed, printed, shipped on time. Fortunately for me in my biz, my clients slow way down over the holidays too. @Lauren - (portable recording studio) Time is of the essence w/my client; I pushed for book launch asap before holiday. So forging ahead w/promotion. I seem to be staying busy and I'm getting all my contracts lined up this month to start off with a bang when Jan. hits. And love it when clients come back to the way, I realized I do your help after all lol Does everyone let clients know when they're "closed" for the holidays/vacations? What about those potentials out there you don't know about? We do, but it doesn't always work. Yes I always send advanced notice to clients re absences. As for potentials - my work email and work phone are always with me (fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you view it) So I can respond to prospects who contact me if I choose to during "days off" Me too. My agency guys are family guys so I'm sure they will be taking some time off, but I'll be checking emails & Crackberry Hope to get some time off. I opt to reply/take calls or not. I think it's important to take a breather during the holidays if you can - to recharge. i would think most businesses would treat the last week of december as a vacation week. think I'll just give them detailed updates before I leave and schedule for how things will continue when I return - might work :)

NEW QUESTION POPPED UP (and tangent #1 began) – Client gifts • Seen any good client gift/thanks ideas out there? • I have a unique idea that I'm doing for my TX hospitality marketing agency. :) Since I'm a foodie and I live in an area known for our mandarins and these guys are in hospitality/food, sending them California mandarins. • Coolest gift we gave a client - from the oohs and aahs - cake with their project

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design printed on it using edible paper. Got custom luggage tag from vendor called Creative Suitcase one year. it was really cute. Shaped like a little suitcase. I also make scarves and sent some scarves to colleagues which they loved. I'm pretty much making as many gifts as I can this season. this week included fake sushi dropped off at local clients luggage tag is good idea - what did you put on it? your logo? Let's hear it for handmade gifts. I'm getting ready to launch my biscotti production. Always a hit. I try to support my local Farmers and businesses and if I do send presents, they are regional - like the mandarins. Fake sushi includes choco sprinkles, gummi snakes, twizzlers and sashimi with blue sharks wrapped in fruit leather sushi - made with rice crispies and marshmallows - people did double takes / lilliput is great - we use it for our inhouse chat room Other quick suggestion for client gift is Heifer. Gifts that give back. Rock - my sis gave us all Heifer international animals last year - loved it or as a former non-profiteer, you can make donations in someone's honor :) like cancer survivors We've done some gifting with Kiva - they make microloans These types of gifts get people thinking good thoughts. Kiva also excellent idea! As for Heifer - we do it every year - also Kiva (especially for families with kids)

Tangent #2 begins – QR Codes • • • • • • • • • • • •

Here's a thought - do something with a QR code. You can make one for free and connect it to any url. Cutting edge right now QR codes are those checkerboard like things that you take a pic with a smart phone app and it takes you to the linked site/webpage I did one for my twitter profile page. Try it. Go to - type your homepage or whatever as the shorten link. Add .qr to the short link when you type the short link.qr it will take you to a QR code that provides a link to the page It's all the rage on marketing materials too for trade shows, etc. I did one for my Google places. I am going to use it on my custom postage stamps. Thanks Therese. I see Real Estate companies are using QR codes a lot. Cool, I'll do some more research on implementing QR codes. Designers should be thinking about ways to incorporate QRcodes - it's going to become like adding a url Unfamiliar w/QR codes, so any info is beneficial. Here's a white paper on QR Codes by John Foley: And this has some other useful links:

Check out this transcript from #tourismchat about QRcodes

Tangent #3 begins – mini monitor • Gift to crew and contractors this year: • I want one. Will go on my EOY shopping list. • @GB that's a fabulous gift...i'll be sending that link to my production friends • great idea - Santa could give me one of these • went looking for the little monitor after going crazy doing a live video stream off my laptop • Just tweeted the little monitor. Can you hear the panting and salivating? • cheapest price I found was @ Mfr URL:

Tangent #4 begins – holiday cards • Okay, designers - any cool ideas for holiday cards etc? • I use Dymo stamps and it's easy to create your own custom stamps. • Personally-made cards or mass produced? • I'm thinking more personal - don't have a ton to send out this year. • I keep thinking about making, how to describe, origami fortune tellers. Remember those? • Middle school memories, but cool marketing tool - could be very upscale • It would lead to ideas/solutions at final fold. • I might use my mom's photo cards. She's a freelance photog on the side. • This is our 'card' from last year that went out to all of our clients: • Phew. Glad others remember those. Beautiful paper, fun graphics, clever text. • love those. All the cool kids play with origami fortune tellers =) • love to see a photo of one – • I've also heard them call fly catchers, but that's not the "feel" I want! • Any recommendations on ecard theme for prospective clients? • Year of the Rabbit coming up. I like using Chinese calendar references. • Actually, the biggest gift of the year would be this - a new web site for Christmas:

Tangent #5 – 2011 business plans • Does everyone have a 2011 business plan? • working on revising mine slowly but surely for 2011 :) • I'm trying a CRM/Proj Mgmt service - Source360. Looks promising, gotta get over the monthly fee angst • Only intentions of doing one. I'm still cleaning up after my accouting debacles

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of '10. On 3rd one this year. We treat our business plan like sourdough - keep checking it, keep feeding it, keep following it. I have reservations about online mgmt services. I prefer holding my info here. Acctg is my downfall - gotta get more organized. 2 drum sets currently stored in my office - can't get near my desk – I like my program (AccountEdge) but not a lot of people use it. Think I can finally get caught up. Love the sourdough image of a plan. Reminds us it's not fixed, but to be reworked as needed. Any tips for this newbie over here? My business plan has consisted of an outline...but I know it should be more detailed than that. That's my major end of the year goal is to have a working, thorough business plan Lauren, ton of templates online - go with simple so you don't feel overwhelmed. @LP - nothing wrong with an outline - I usually work from our exec summary anyway I just read a great article yesterday on the One Paragraph Biz Plan - I don't think it has to be as long as a book Biz plan links tend to be country specific - US and Canadian rules and regs are often quite different I also have a unique system I use and can send along the template to Vicky for more of us creative souls. I think the business plan should include a profit plan- how much you want to make for the year. I like the profit concept Jacqueline :) i think that's key. it's all about projecting what you want so the universe gives it back Good idea, Jacqueline - we definitely have financial goals - quarterly and annual I'm back after getting bumped out again - here is a link the one 1 paragraph biz plan article I think we overlook the importance of our income. After all that is why we do what we do. Yeah I'm moving in the direction of virtual PR agency - with my new title as "buzz-icist" :) We're in essence a virtual agency - it works - given the right team

Random stuff - what? Us? Random? • Anyone know how @Bhas can set up a directory on the FB page for listing contact info (whatever you want) for those who'd like it? •

I recently revamped my website. @GB has already given me feedback but I'd

love more if u are up for it! •

4 my VA biz @friendlycomser; luv you all to follow and 'like'. Blog article up soon!

Rock’s dog:

GOALS for the week: • • • • • • • • • •

Get podcast project uploaded & market it. Finish portable studio. Begin 2011 biz plan. do accounting entries. get this new contract signed, jump into new editing project, wrap up details with TX agency campaigns I'm working on, etc. Trying to get organized, contracts signed for NY and organized AND work on biz plan for 2011 - new directions and focus Goals: LinkedIn biz page (still!), blog posts, holiday projects Goal: keep grinding away till the 22nd - get as much done and ready for invoicing as possible. Meet our year-end $ objective. 1) generate more biz 2) promote the heck out of current client 3) add monitor to wish list Goals: get FB group/whatever, be patient while waiting to hear on 9 RFPs I have out, biz plan outline, website, blog editorial calendar Goals: Invoice for work done. Design contract. Really need help with this. Goals: Work on biz plan 2011. Work on new niche.

A small tangent – LinkedIN • (Therese) my friend is coming out with an awesome LinkedIn ebook. I just edited it for her. the ebook is kick butt! She goes into biz pages, etc. • We now have LI biz pages? Separate from the usual one? Customizable • Connect with me Therese Pope, LinkedIn if interested in LI ebook - and it's free and awesome! • i went to a LI seminar that discussed it. It's pretty straight forward. same way you would create you profile on LI Request for contract help (from Kate) • please - have trouble with writing out contract terms - keep procrastinating cos i think it's complicated • Contract info resource: Graphic Arts Guild handbook. also AIGA site. • Kate, check out those 2 resources. I love GAG for contract building. • (Therese) I'm good at contracts - former event planner here lol and write them all the time for clients Special Note: Mandarins are yummyyy and good for allergies.

08 December 10 Chat  

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