I’m sitting in the library trying to write, so here is a book-inspired colour palette for today.
Good growing soil, russet, leather journal, forgotten pink, dirty cream, foggy beach sky, blue dress.
There’s no doubt the Victorian era has had a huge influence on typography trends of today- think hand-crafted script fonts, scrolls, condensed type and curved headings. Great typographers like Luca Ionescu and Ged Palmer owe a lot to their Victorian predecessors.
So here are some images to gaze at and admire- all of these examples have been sourced from The British Library’s photostream on Flickr, a fantastic image resource.
Creating, generating ideas, developing business concepts is just the start of any creative journey. Once you’ve ‘created’ you often have to tell others about it – whether it be trying to convince them of the strength of your idea or even selling them a product or service. You rarely have long to convince people to keep listening to you – you may only have 30 seconds on the phone, or in person, before someone has decided if they’re going to engage with you – or pass. That’s why it’s worth having an ‘elevator pitch’ rehearsed and ready.
Imagine you and your dream potential customer (or person you need to convince of something) are suddenly in an elevator alone. You’re only travelling ten floors (or pehaps in an airport queue, or waiting for your latte). In the very short time you’ve got alone, can you get her interested, enough to keep the conversation going or get an appointment? What you deliver in that time is your elevator pitch. It is, at most, 3-4 sentences that deliver a result.
1. Know what you are trying to achieve—are you looking to close or just keep the conversation going?
2. Know your target—Have you taken the time to understand your audience?
3. It’s not about you—Forget what you want to say. What’s important to your target?
4. Keep it real—Don’t use generic words or meaningless phrases. ‘Total Solution’ or ‘Innovative new approach’ come to mind. Use real words that still mean something.
5. Be specific—Don’t say “It’s our people that make the difference.” Exactly what difference do they make? And how is this different than what anyone else can claim?
6. Preparation is key—Don’t shoot from the hip. Be ready. Put some thought & research into your pitch.
7. Solve a problem—If you know your target market, you know their problem. Make sure what you are pitching solves that problem in some way. Even if one doesn’t really exist, make them worry it does!
8. Let your passion show—Enthusiasm is both attractive and catching. Don’t be a robot. Get passionate about your ability to solve their problem, and they’re more likely to believe you can.
9. Practice—Practice your pitch, just in case the opportunity presents. This is more than just writing it down. This is testing it on people you know and asking for honest feedback.
10. Keep it short—This is not a half hour presentation. You’ve got a minute or two at most. Think about a news story. What makes the headline or the first para? Just enough to make you want to keep reading. Learn from this. Make your words count!
Quickly, without thinking too much, write down what you are selling in 3-4 sentences: Your ‘elevator pitch’. It might be an idea, your own business, a product or service you’ve developed.
Read over what you’ve written.
Would it excite a prospect, make them want to learn more?
Does it bring out what’s truly unique or exciting about you or your product or service offering?
If you’re like most people, you might struggle to clearly articulate what you’re pitching in a compelling and concise manner. (Even experienced sales people do
a terrible job most of the time).
You must learn to sum up unique aspects of your service/ product/idea/creation in a way that excites others. You need to consider, and share, what really sets you apart.
Sometimes you have time to tell a story; many times you don’t. Ultimately, your pitch must to survive the ‘So what?’ test. In other words, you want to ensure that question is eliminated for your prospect.
“I am the owner of a small agency”. So what?
“We have clients in all sorts of industries.” So what? “We would love to work with you.” So what?
“We have an existing client interested in a cross promotion that will generate double your normal widget sales.” Okay, now I’m interested.
Fashion has brought us so many gems – from meat dresses to Wellingtons. Here are a few you might not have heard of.
Get off me patch ye blue-ribboned devil
Cockade – Gang colours for the 18th century. Usually a rosette-style ribbon attached to either hat or chest to show affiliation to a group. Think Les Mis an you get the picture.
Be honest – does my bum look big in this?
Fashion spread from Albanian Vogue
Fustanella – A traditional costume worn by many in Southeast Europe; a fetching short skirt ensemble worn by the men, or longer version for the women.
My that’s a handsome jabot you’re sporting
Jabot – A must for pirates and judges alike. It’s the lacy ruffle worn around the neck, made popular in the laciest of periods, the Baroque, and still popular today. Best worn with a long curly wig (long hair will do if you’re a pirate, wigs are so hard to keep track of on the open sea).
The ultimate in Middle-Aged comfort
Houppelande – The caftan of its day, the houppelande was a long floaty robe or tunic. Worn by both men and women, it was the Middle Ages wardrobe essential. Nowadays you can look to judges and academics to see the evolution of the houppelande, those flowing robes still the height of intelligent fashion.
Slattern – This is a slight to a woman who does not take appropriate care with her dress, she may be unfashionable, wearing ill-fitted clothes, clothes that are torn or dirty or horror of horrors- mismatched. I’m a bit of a slattern today.
The blogosphere can be a dangerous place – you read one great post, follow a link, then another…and before you know it, two hours have gone and you’ve committed to starting one crafty project, signed a petition and joined three new Twitter feeds!
We thought we’d add to this state (sorry)! So to round out this week, here are some great blog posts we’ve come across that we though you fellow idea seekers might also enjoy…(or you could check out our top posts from the past year on DailyInkling)
Books for Bloggers – A post on The Blog Society on four books every blogger should read. The first and final books have been immediately added to my ‘to read’ list (and I saw Sophia speak at SxSW, her story was seriously impressive even though she was quite humble!)
Six things to consider when writing promotional copy for your book – I follow Kindle Direct Publishing on Facebook and it’s a source of links to many, many great articles on all things book writing and publishing. I thought this post on crafting promotional copy for your book was detailed enough to be extremely useful and something to come back to when I’ve managed to pen my next book!
Tutorial: Larksfoot Crochet and a #larksfootalong - I haven’t picked up my hook in a long time, but this post by ever-crafty Pip at Meet Me at Mikes inspired me to buy some gorgeous yarn get hooking again. I’m about a third of a way through a cushion cover and it’s looking fab. If you’ve got a crafty inclination, check it out.
20 crazy before & afters to make your draw drop – If you’ve ever renovated, you LOVE before and afters. This post on Design Sponge will keep your dreams alive….
Ten ways to exponentially grow your traffic in 30 days – This post at Pro Blogger is more than just a great headline. It has some very clever ideas that challenge you to think about your blog – or your business. I’ve got some ideas to try for this blog, but also two client businesses.
Sydney apartment garden – The Design Files is forever bringing us gorgeous homes, but lately I’ve been enjoying the garden posts. Call me a total nanna, but I rather love gardening. This little garden in an apartment in Refern gives all gardeners hope regardless of how little space they have! A truly creative approach to indoor gardening.