Quick questions and answers that help designers provide a good quote

  • I’m always looking to give my customers the best quote possible so knowing what work is involved really makes a difference! Here are some quick questions I commonly ask new clients before I provide them a project quote: What service/s are you considering hiring me for? popular answers: eBay store design eBay auction template website design labeling, CD/DVD or packaging design Facebook cover design other (please be specific) How would you like your design to look? What kind of products do you sell or plan to sell / if any? How many pages are you interested in having me custom design for you? page examples could be homepage about us auction template faqs front or back cover for a flyer brochure pages (how many) other (please be specific) Are there any special features or functions you would like it to have? Is there a design or a website page that you admire, or some things about it you like a lot?  If so, please send me a link so I can get an idea of what kind of look of functionality you are interested in having.   For print marketing inquiries I also ask these important questions: Is there a specific size or file type (such as psd, pdf, eps, ai, other) you need the design to be in? Do you have a template outline for me to use that your printing company has provided you?     So now you know what I’ll probably ask you…  

  • The time it takes to finish a project varies from project to project and person to person. If our communication is very good and I’m able to get the look you want a reasonable time frame will be as such: For flash package projects It normally takes me 3-4 weeks, possibly longer. Non Flash projects normally 2-3 weeks. I will try to have a sample to show you within the first week if at all possible. There are some instances that I may be delayed but I will be in constant communication with you so you are reassured I’m still “on the job”. My passion is to provide you quality before speed but be assured, if you take a look at my extensive feedback history, I’m not the type of person that likes to have my customers waiting on me at all. If time is of the essence please email me and ask if there will be any delays and what time-frame you can expect to have your project completed, as again it all depends from project to project and person to person. Thank you!

  • I accept Paypal, Postal Money Orders, Business Checks (although I will wait until it clears before starting any work). Cash is accepted from local Oklahoma residents and in some cases I accept trade/bartering for the full or partial amount due. Don’t hesitate to email me if you’d be interested in a full or partial trade!

  • Yes, but please bear in mind that the project will not be completed until after the final payment has been made. I do not take remaining payments after the project is completed, but rather before or during the designing process. If you are on a budget and need to time it out accordingly, just let me know, I’m pretty flexible. Please email me to make payment arrangements if needed.

  • The best encouragement I have to offer you is my 11+ years of unalterable eBay feedback. I have been a seller since 2000, so there’s a lot of feedback there that speaks for my service, my speed, my designing capabilities and most importantly, my integrity! Please note that while I still sell on ebay from time to time it has become rare, so while the feedback there does reach back as far as 2000, there may not be many current feedbacks added. This is only because I am no longer dependent on eBay for my income, I’ve been able to pull away from ebay and do well w/out it… So I only list on ebay when I realllly want to. A pleasant goal most business owners might consider seeking to achieve themselves. You are also welcome to visit my Testimonials page to read years worth of client testimonials. And feel free to even contact any of them for a personal a reference.

  • I have no problem waiting to begin your design if you need a little time to plan out any specific needs. Hiring me now might save you money in the long run as I might give myself a raise later on. My objective is like most everyone’s; work less and get paid more. I would love to spend more time with my children regardless of my love and addiction for design!

  • Anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE pictures…  Well, if they didn’t know that, they should, because I do!  I have a fetish for good stock photo images.   There are some nice freebie stock images you can find on the internet if you browse long enough, but I personally enjoy using professional stock photo images most of all. A good stock photo image can make any website designer or illustrator look good!  even an OK designer can look great if they have a great stock photo image to work with!  I learned this in the beginning of my web designing career, lol.  So yes, I LOVE professional stock photo images. This past weekend one of my clients shared a deal with me that one of his friends shared with him.  It was for 150 professional stock photo images from Depositphotos for only $49.  My mouth nearly hit the floor with disbelief when I saw the deal.  You see stock photo images can be VERY pricey… They cost a lot, especially the best of the best!  And when you want more than one, well, be prepared to spend $60, $80, $100 and more for a SMALL yet good collection of stock photo images!  150 stock photo images for the price of $49 and you can get the largest size available is just incredible! I passed on the link to some of my other clients who were also very excited about the offer.  I hope they jump on it before this deal expires (whenever that is).  Here’s a link to the page if I’ve caught your attention as well. Depositphotos has other great stockphoto deals, so be sure to check them out if this offer happens to be over.  They have wonderful stock photo models, stock backgrounds, stock vectors, stock illustrations and more! I’ll be putting together some custom banner advertisements for my friend and client at smmcosmetics.com using one of the professional stock photo images at Depositphotos showing a beautiful model woman wearing makeup.  I plan to altar the color of her eye shadow to different eye shadow shades that will match my clients eye shadow collection.  This photo-manipulation will help my client advertise her different eye shadow shades.  I look forward to working on this project soon! Shortly after that I plan to put together some more wonderful articles on one of my own hobby websites (survivingtheoregontrail.com) which features educational information and products for home school families looking to live more healthy and organic lifestyles.  I found the most wonderful stock photo collections at Depositphotos. I was nearly jumping out of my seat when I saw them and opened them up. You’ve got to check these babies out!  See I KNOW I would be spending a LOT of money on just 1 of these photos even if they were sold separately.  But these stock photo collections have MANY items that I’m already interested in getting – all in one lump image.  I am such a winner today, yay me!  lol…  and you can be too!  When you look through their stock images, use the keyword “Collection” and see what wonderful collections you come up with.  Because I’m interested in herbs, plants and foods, this is the amazing collection of collections I came up with!  Check out my lightbox here. When you are looking through stock photo images be sure to set up a lightbox like I have done.  Having a lightbox enables you to save a bunch of your favorite images to one place so that you can later on find your favorites, or compare them to each other so…

  •   A very important part of the process of website and ebay store designs is choosing good stock photos.  If you want to have the best presentation for your products you absolutely need good pictures, pictures of your products and pictures to help compliment and sell your product! I use istockphoto stock images in nearly all of my client projects.  There are other stockphoto sites, but I’ve been real happy with istockphoto’s selection so I don’t browse much outside of it when it comes to my clients projects. When you sign-up with istockphoto (which that part is free btw)… consider creating a lightbox like I have done.  That way you can have a “file” of all your personal favorite models and images you would like to (or strongly consider) use throughout your website design.  Lightboxes are very helpful.  You can even break them up into categories such as Eyes Lips Face (great for foundation) Skincare Etc. Later on the files will be there and will save you a lot of time when you don’t have much of it and need something fast.  How to save a picture to a lightbox (if you’re not familiar with this part of it) Go to the picture you like Such as: http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-3710320-isolated-mineral-make-up-with-brush.php?st=e799ee6 Under the picture click “Save to Lightbox” This will give you the option to create a new lightbox or to use a current one. Later on when you want to check out your lightboxes at the bottom of the screen theres a gray bar and when you’re logged in at the far right corner of the bottom gray bar there will be a link that says “Lightboxes”.  This is where you can view your saved lightboxes. 

  • Question It appears that America have been on holiday since Thanksgiving.  I have a few questions you might be able to answer. Is Thanksgiving on the same date each year? What is Black Friday? It looks like I missed an opportunity for some sales. I’ve also seen the term Cyber Monday. What’s that?   Answer Yah our Thanksgiving Holidays are almost as treasured to Americans as Christmas and 4th of July.  It’s a big event.  Many people will get 2 paid vacation days off to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family.  Same for Christmas (btw – we don’t celebrate Christmas ourselves, I’m just sharing matter of factly – but we do enjoy Thanksgiving!)  Black Friday is the main 1 day event where Americans forget who they are and put on a very animalistic nature for the sake of saving a few bucks.  The measures they do to observe this disturbing day is inhuman.  My husband read that this year 2 people were run over in a parking lot, people are knocking people over, bringing handguns to Wal-Marts, fist fighting, literally breaking doors down (LITERALLY) to get inside a store.  It is sickness.  And a great point was made that all the time people put into a LONG OVERNIGHT waiting line outside a store (ON THANKSGIVING EVENING till the next morning) that all that time they could have put in the same amount of extra work hours in at work and would have been able to get the same product they’re standing in line for. I was disgusted when I heard people were staying in line over night at a Toys-R-Us of all places…..  A Kids toy place!  I mean really… stay home with your kids on Thanksgiving, they’ll love you more for it than the toy you’d stand in line for hours just to save $20 or $50 bucks. It is sad and disgusting at the same time. As far as sells opportunity, sure its defiantly a time to throw out some sales pitches.  All holidays are advertising opportunities.  Black Friday is just another “reason” for the season – of shopping.  But it mostly pertains to retail chains.  There are many online businesses that will try to do a “pre-Black Friday” sale in order to get the peoples money BEFORE they spend it all on Black Friday at the retail chains.  This works to some degree.  But I think it’s a minor degree.  These people that rush in line at the stores and stay overnight there with their sleeping bags and what-not – also do it for the “experience” and thrill… and sheer stupidity.  (eh hem… as you can see I’m quite perturbed over this particular day, lol) It was pointed out just looking at the animalistic nature of these people rushing in and grabbing and fighting and hurting each other (OVER ELECTRONICS) how much worse would it be if our economy were to go through a meltdown / economic disaster.  The people are just uncontrolled… and how much worse would it be if it were not a Black Friday – but a depression or terrorist attack that made us have to fend for ourselves.  They’d be animals out there.. no humanity about them whatsoever. ARGh. Sorry… venting while answering your question. Heh. Ok, back to holiday sales. It’d be a good idea for you to get a list of American Holidays and popular events.  Any holiday or popular event is typically a advertising opportunity.  Companies will find whatever holiday or “reason” they can to throw a sales pitch… and it works.  Give a person a reason to shop, and…

  • Many people rely heavily on their newsletter campaigns and put a lot of time, attention and detail into their newsletters yet what they fail to do is to use that WONDERFUL content rich information for their websites!  Search engines LOVE information, information, information, and if you are posting a lot of information in your weekly and bi-weekly newsletters, why not copy that information and post it to a website blog??!  That information can be stored up and used for your benefit as the Search Engines will recommend people to your website more and more!!! Here’s a little guide (err… suggestion) so as to show you how to get old newsletters you’ve already written and post them to your WordPress website and/or blog. 2 suggestions to help you get the newsletters on your website. #1 – When you write your newsletter write it in a word document first… and then copy the information over to both your newsletter and then your website.  #2 – if you’ve already posted the information and want to copy it from a newsletter… Open the newsletter you want Highlight all the information you want to add to your website Copy Open your notepad found on your pc under accessories Paste or (Control X) the content on your clipboard from the newsletter. If nothing is pasted in try copying and pasting one more time. Now all the text is in the notepad and all the coding is deleted. Go through the content and erase any parts that you don’t want, e.g. links that say “click here” or anything that just wouldn’t really be applicable on the website that is applicable in the newsletter. Now highlight and copy all your notepad info. Go to your website, Create a new post And paste your information in. Add a featured image and stick a picture inside to make the news more interesting to the reader. You can also add bolds and paragraph breaks and other light text editing, but I don’t recommend much. Keep it readable and consistent with the website formatting.   I recommend option #1.   lol The older the newsletter the less editing I think is necessary, it’s good for the Search Engines, but probably inapplicable to the visitor at least in regards to the sales….  Having said that you want to be sure that it is clear that there’s a date deadline somewhere stated so that someone viewing the newsletter even accidentally can not later call you on it asking why the coupon code doesn’t work or what-not.  Expiration dates are important to have in other words! Lol… but having all that WONdERFUL rich newsletter content will be soooo good for you!  I’m sooooooo glad you’re going to give it a try!!!! OH and yes, do the OLDEST newsletters first….. That way by the time you are caught up and posting the most current it will be shown as the most current posting and will be in correct chronological order.  

  • With saving this big, there’s never been a better time to get Email Marketing. Email Marketing is a great way to stay connected to your customers year round. And there’s never been a better time to give it a try because when you buy now, you’ll get your first three months for 50% off! But hurry, this offer ends on 6/30. Email us or buy now to learn more.   Enter offer code J50EMSP at checkout. This promotion (the “Promotion”) begins on June 19, 2012 at 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time (“ET”) and ends on June 30, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. ET (the “Promotion Period”). If you purchase Constant Contact Email Marketing during the Promotion Period, you will receive 50% off of Constant Contact Email Marketing for the first three months after becoming a paying customer. You will be eligible to participate in this Promotion if you (i) are a Constant Contact trial account holder, and (ii) become a paying Constant Contact Email Marketing customer by either clicking on the “Buy Now” link and entering the applicable promo code during the Promotion Period or calling a your solution provider and mentioning this offer by 7:30 p.m. ET on June 30, 2012. If you are not satisfied for any reason with Constant Contact Email Marketing, Constant Contact offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on your purchase, as more fully described at www.constantcontact.com/pricing. Constant Contact reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to suspend or cancel this offer at any time. This offer cannot be combined with any other offers. This Promotion and all Constant Contact products and services are subject to the Constant Contact terms and conditions.

  • If you don’t already have an email account associated with your business name, now is the time!  The sooner the better I say!  That way when you email friends, family, customers and POTENTIAL customers it looks something like: support@yoursite.com sales@….. info@….. help@….. yourname@ othername@ and beyond! You can have this email forward emails to another email address that you’re more comfortable using if you like…. this way the email address you present (advertise) to the world looks professional and it also advertises your business for you in all your communications! When people see crystal@madetobeunique.com  – they can see my website address in it and check out my site without me even inviting them to… (this is great for correspondence with family and friends, heh).  The more traffic you get on your site – whether it be friends, family or clients, the better…  Search engines count your traffic and how long your traffic stays on your site. So again, consider getting an email account with your domain name. If you had a good hosting account for your domain name then you should have a free email account included with it.  But if you want to wait on the monthly hosting fees, then a domain and email account should work very nicely for you, until you’re ready to add to add more, such as an online ecommerce. 

  • Made To Be Unique’s Named One of Constant Contact’s 2011 All Stars Company’s use of Constant Contact products and services helped increase its overall marketing performance and deepen its engagement with customers OKLAHOMA CITY, OK MARCH 16, 2011, Made To Be Unique  has received the 2010 All Star Award from Constant Contact®, Inc., the trusted marketing advisor to more than 400,000 small organizations worldwide.  Made To Be Unique is one of Constant Contact’s 2010 top performers and most prolific user of its tools, whether within Constant Contact’s email marketing, event marketing, social media marketing, or survey products – or a combination of all four. “It is a great honor to be recognized by Constant Contact for the use of my newsletter and email marketing campaign services!  Constant Contact has been a great tool used by many of my clients to help grow their businesses!  I look forward to working with more clients and anticipate they too will enjoy the benefits of increased business as they use this excellent e-marketing tool!” Crystal Calhoun of Made To Be Unique Constant Contact looked at criteria including the following when selecting this year’s All Stars: Frequency of campaigns, events and surveys Open, bounce and click through rates Usage of social features Mailing list sign up tools Use of reporting tools “We work hard to listen to our customers, and we use that feedback to create products and services designed to help them better engage with their customers and prospects,” said Gail Goodman, chairman, president and CEO of Constant Contact. “The Constant Contact All Star Awards are our way of recognizing our customers that have successfully used Constant Contact to market their companies. We have some of the most committed, passionate customers out there and we’re proud we can be a part of their continued success.” About Constant Contact, Inc. Constant Contact is revolutionizing the success formula for small organizations through affordable, easy-to-use Engagement Marketing™ tools that help create and grow customer relationships.  More than 400,000 small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and member associations worldwide rely on Constant Contact as their engagement hub for starting and driving ongoing customer dialogs through email marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, and online surveys.  All Constant Contact products come with unrivaled know how, education and free coaching with a personal touch, including award-winning customer support. Constant Contact and the Constant Contact Logo are registered trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All Constant Contact product names and other brand names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.

  • Made To Be Unique Joins the Constant Contact Partner Program as a Solution Provider Program Provides Clients with Effective and Affordable Tools to Build Strong, Lasting Customer Relationships Oklahoma City, OK – Made To Be Unique has joined the Constant Contact Partner Program as a Solution Provider Partner. As a Constant Contact Solution Provider, Made To Be Unique clients gain access to easy-to-use email marketing, event marketing, social media marketing, and online survey tools to help them build strong, lasting customer relationships. “Our customers are always looking for effective ways to deepen and strengthen relationships with their customers as an efficient means of growing their businesses,” said Crystal Calhoun. “The Constant Contact online marketing tools give our clients a valuable addition to our core services. Because of the tools’ ease-of-use and affordability, membership in the the Constant Contact partner program provided a great solution to meet our clients’ marketing needs.” As a Constant Contact Partner, Made To Be Unique is able to provide its clients with email marketing, event marketing, and online survey capabilities. With Constant Contact Email Marketing, Made To Be Unique’s clients can quickly and easily create professional-looking emails, manage email contact lists, measure email campaign results from clicks to open rates, and review who joined an email list. With Constant Contact Online Survey, Made To Be Unique’s clients have an easy-to-use tool to gather feedback that will help them meet customer needs, generate new ideas, and grow their business or organization. With Constant Contact Event Marketing, Made To Be Unique’s clients can professionally promote and efficiently manage registrations and RSVPs for their meetings, functions, seminars, and other events. Constant Contact designed these tools specifically to help small businesses and organizations drive increased customer or member participation and strengthen relationships. “Email marketing, event marketing, and online surveys are proven tools that help small businesses connect with customers and build successful relationships with them,” said Eric Groves, senior vice president, Global Market Development, Constant Contact. “We are pleased that Made To Be Unique chose Constant Contact to provide its clients with our online marketing tools, and we look forward to working together to help Made To Be Unique be an even bigger factor in its customers’ successes.”   Providing aggressive, attractive website design & marketing services. Made To Be Unique provides a complete array of professional and unique marketing services for the competitive online seller. Services range from website design, custom Ebay store and listing templates, ecommerce, craigslist, social networking and email marketing services and selling assistance. Having over 10 years of online selling experience Made To Be Unique offers new and seasoned online sellers marketing guidance, tips and tricks to selling successfully online. We are here to see you succeed! Made To Be Unique’s greatest strength lies in unique, custom designs. So skip the cookie cutter template design and grab your visitor’s immediate attention with a professional custom look!   About Constant Contact, Inc. With more than 370,000 customers, Constant Contact, Inc. is a leading provider of email marketing, event marketing, and online surveys for small businesses, non-profits, and member associations. Founded in 1995, Constant Contact helps small organizations grow stronger customer relationships by delivering professional, low cost, easy-to-use online tools backed with award-winning support, education and personal coaching. Constant Contact is a publicly traded company (Nasdaq: CTCT) with offices located in Waltham, Mass., Loveland, Colo., and Delray, Fla. To learn more, please visit www.ConstantContact.com or call 781-472-8100. Constant Contact and the Constant Contact Logo are registered trademarks of Constant Contact, Inc. All Constant Contact product names and other brand names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks…

  •   Instructions… Click Tools tab at the top Click Options Click Tab “Mail Format” Click in the Center – tab “Signatures” Click to create a “New” signature Have fun! And don’t forget tooooooo Add a link to your website (ie) www.eloise.com And a link to your newsletter saying something like what you say on your website: FOR UPDATES, SPECIALS AND NEWEST WORK PLEASE SIGN UP TO RECEIVE MY NEWSLETTER!

  • Email Marketing Success Stories   Using email marketing to build a dialog with customers Two of Constant Contact’s customers benefit from staying connected to their audience.     Guardian Angel Basset Rescue List Size: 2,688 Open Rate: 40% Website: www.bassetrescue.org Guardian Angel Basset Rescue (GABR) is the largest purebred dog rescue in the Midwest. The group has rescued more than 3,200 Basset Hounds since its inception in 1997. Through its work over the years, GABR has developed effective fund raising techniques and now uses this experience to provide support to a range of other breed rescues, cat rescues and humane societies in developing these organizations’ fund raising efforts.   Guardian Angel Basset Rescue has been using Constant Contact for its email marketing efforts for the past five years, and founder Larry Little believes the ability to stay in touch frequently with his base is critical for any non-profit organization. “Our email communications allow us to solicit donations, find volunteers, tell a story and announce an event. We communicate with our base anywhere from 2 to 5 times a month.” Through this frequent communication stream, GABR has built a dialog with its members, as members respond regularly to GABR emails with valuable feedback and suggestions. GABR knows that by showing genuine interest in members’ feedback, they can build closer relationships and engender member loyalty.   Buoyed by these strong relationships, GABR’s founder believes the current economic environment will not impact GABR or its communications strategy. He stresses that his organization is best served by continuing to send honest, relevant information that he knows his members care about.     Blind Lemon Vintage List Size: 5,458 Open Rate: 32% Website: www.blindlemonvintage.co.uk   Blind Lemon Vintage was founded in March 2005 by Edwin Dyson out of his interest for all things fashion. Blind Lemon started as a vintage clothing emporium in Pembrokeshire, and has now expanded into a series of fine Vintage Fashion Fairs run across the UK. Blind Lemon started using Constant Contact within six months of launching and now uses a range of email communications to stay in touch with its growing client base.   "I write a monthly newsletter that goes to everyone, all about hints and tips on collecting, dating and caring for vintage clothing" says Edwin. "And, when I have an event, I contact different audiences (depending on their city or interest) on average of five times in the two months leading up to the event." Blind Lemon is constantly refining and tailoring its messages and promotions to fit the different interests and needs of its audience.   Edwin also recognizes the opportunity each communication presents to gain feedback from his base. Through his emails, he extends invitations to customers for feedback, using both specific questions about products or services and the more general "How am I doing?" open-ended questions. Edwin points out that gaining customer feedback is critical – "I’m not going to improve my business otherwise." Edwin not only solicits feedback but then shares the information he collects with his customers along with his responses and actions. The result of this give-and-take is a loyal following and a growing mailing list.    

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