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Notes from the Fall Conference

The last two days I exhibited my business at the Colorado Nonprofit Association‘s Fall Conference and spoke with dozens of people in the nonprofit world. What did I learn?

1. “Good” Chocolate

I quickly became known as the exhibitor with the best chocolate since I offered Ghirardelli. Who would have thought with a demographic consisting mainly of women that chocolate would be such a big hit. Ha!

2. Nonprofits Need My Services

From the people I spoke with it became clear that many were balancing their current jobs with trying to do communications work as well. Quite often this was the case of those working in the development department. While I can how communications and development are complimentary business since I often present my business with MD Fundraising Services, a non-profit development contractor, it isn’t a one-person fits all. All too often the development person feels overwhelmed by communications or simply doesn’t have the skill set to produce articles and marketing pieces that attract donors. If you are one of those trying to do too much consider hiring me to be your partner in helping you succeed.

3. Nonprofits are Trying to Hire Jack-of-all-Trades Employees

I spoke with a lady who asked me if I did the IT side with hardware. I immediately responded “No, that is two different skill and mind sets.” She immediately nodded her head and said that the nonprofit had tried to hire an IT/Communications person, but that it only lasted 3 months. The person just couldn’t handle all the different aspects of the job. This happens all too often. I often speak on how difficult it can be to write and code websites. They are two different mindsets. I have been lucky that I can bridge that gap. This is what my business is for. Consider hiring me instead of trying to fill a large need with one full-time person. Break it down into pieces and let the experts help you meet your need.

At the end of the day it was a great conference. I hope that those who I spoke with were able to think about their communications efforts in a new way and I look forward to speaking with them again. See you next year!

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Prepped and Ready to Go!

TE Creative Services Advertising Poster, 11x17.

11x17 Poster.

Next week, after months of preparation and planning, I will have a booth at the 2011 Colorado Nonprofit Associations’ Fall Conference on Oct 10 and 11 . This will mark the first time in my 3-year history that I will be out selling my business. For the past several years I have relied on and received all my business through word-of-mouth advertising.  Quite frankly, this has been very successful for me. Now, I am ready to take it to the next level. What have I done to get ready?

Since I decided to purchase a booth way back in May, I have done a ton of work. I started with creating a new logo then I designed and printed brochures, posters and business cards. Also I had shirts made and have relaunched my website. It has been a great experience. I mean, I normally do all this work for my clients and don’t really produce much for my business. This is the first time I have turned my skills on my business. It has been a very rewarding experience and has validated my work to myself. I can’t wait until I get to the conference to see how all my work comes together.

Anyone who has spent time with me lately knows that this conference is a really, really big deal to me. I have spent hours agonizing over how to present my business, what exactly my business is and how I want potential clients to see my business. In the end, I feel like I have a really solid business plan. I have shared this plan with some close friends and clients. Everyone has been really positive with their comments. The reality, that my clients/friends have told me, is that I deliver a great service at a low price with lots of value for my clients.

Why write a blog about this? I hope potential and new clients see the effort I put into my work and how much effort I put into your materials. Also, I made the decision years ago to be a little more personal with my business. I have always felt that people buy from people and the more you know that person the more comfortable you are working with that person. My business is about trust and teamwork. Without these pieces the best laid plans will fall apart.

To all my past/current clients, thank you again for all the help getting me to this point. To my future clients, I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks and see you at the conference!

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New Website

Over the past several years, I have had 3 different website designs that have had various successes and challenges. As a single-person shop, I have always had the challenge of how to grow and maintain my website without spending a lot of time on it. This issue combined with the growth of my blog as well as presenting my portfolio has lead me to relaunching my site powered with WordPress.

If you haven’t heard of WordPress, you will. It is no secret that building websites are getting easier and easier. With WordPress, I can sign in through a browser and make website updates without needing expensive software. I don’t need to hand code anything nor do I need to deal with cross-browser issues.

While I contemplated making this change to WordPress for quite sometime, I do realize that I have lost all my old blog posts as well as lost some of the creative freedom from hand coding. Yes, I can still make color and layout adjustments with WordPress, it just doesn’t seem to be as flexible as say Dreamweaver was.

Thank you to all my past and current clients who have made this dream of TE Creative Services possible. I hope all of you will enjoy this new site, become a fan of me on Facebook and come back often!

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