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What I’v Learned

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How to measure your success

6th 02 2018. Posted in What I'v Learned by elliekelly

 

With your own ruler.

In the dictionary is says “the attainment of wealth, position, honours, or the like”

I used to measure my business / life like this. How much money have I made, what new things have I brought, do I have more clients, have I worked with bigger brands and more celebrities this year than last.

It’s exhausting. It’s a life full of pressure.

The reason I started working for myself was so I could work from home and have a dog, I could pick who I worked with and so when I had children I could be at home with them as much as I wanted.

Building Buttons over the last 6 years has given me all those things plus more. We got Milo within a year of me leaving my Event Manager job, I get to pick my staff and the suppliers I work with and I wasn’t in a position where I had to put Neive in nursery before I wanted to.

I love my work and I love the life it gives me.

The main culprit of me not feeling satisfied with my success was social media. It is pretty hard not to see what everyone else is up to and compare. It took me a while of feeling bit low to realise that if I really did want what ‘they’ had then I could probably get it. I work hard and learn fast. So, the reason I didn’t have what ‘they’ have is that I don’t want it / don’t want is bad enough, or I would have at least tried for it.

You must remember the behind the scene sacrifices that these other people have made for what they have, it won’t have happened over night and it most likely wasn’t easy to get.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not finished. I am a person of drive and I want to do more. I want to get some more staff, work with more brands, more lovely parents and of course earn more money in the next few years. And for the years after that I have big plans.

The difference is I now refuse to let the journey towards my goals mean I miss out on all the great stuff I already have and the joy to be had in every day. And I have at least 30 more years working (that is some realization!) so I really don’t need to achieve all my dreams right now.

Party candy table

And with that in mind I’m going to go and eat some Nutella on toast and spend some time with my daughters and husband who I can hear playing downstairs.

Ellie x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What I’v learned – Branding

29th 01 2018. Posted in What I'v Learned by elliekelly

 

The most important step in starting a new business or moving a business forward.

In 2011 I started Buttons. It was not a big grand plan. The aim was to work from home so i could have a dog and be in a the position i wanted to when i had kids. I made some notes in a note book and looked at what other party companies where doing. I planned out what I would offer, how much I would charge and the equipment I needed.  I ran it along side by job for 6 months, then went part time and after two more months I left.

What I did plan out and spend money was the branding and website for Buttons. I went all out. I had heard Fiona, who owned the branding company talk at an event and had done a party for her daughter though a party company I used to work for a few years previously.

My gut was saying, she gets what I’m about, knows what I’m trying to do and will create something I love. And that is just what happened. Some people told me I was mad for spending thousands on a new never tested company when I could get a website and logo for a few hundred pounds.

Part of me was a little freaked out about the costs. I was only 26 at the time, but I knew I would love what I got just as much as I knew I would regret going cheaper, always wondering what if.

It was, to this day, 6 and a half years on, the best investment I have made. I have only ever made tweaks to the Buttons site where as all my competitors are on there second ones.

Buttons brand and website was built around my vison for Buttons, the clients I wanted to work with and used colours psychology, all meaning I have a lovey brand that stands out in the crowd and attracts the clients I want. I LOVE the clients I work with and I really do put that down to the brand attracting like mined people who are looking for the type of service I provide.

I’m not saying to get yourself in financial trouble when having a brand / logo / website created but you need to spend as much as you can to get the best you can. In the long term it will pay off. How many totally rubbish websites have you been on and then off again in the blink of an eye because they just looked half hearted.

I am just working on the final touches for a second website for my Forest School business. Again, I used people I knew and trusted and again it cost me thousands. I don’t spend this type of money without some thought and it’s a lot to spend when you’re not working as much and have a one year old. However, I knew I would totally love what I got with them and never question if the money was worth it.

 

How terrible would it be to spend half what I spend and not like what you got, much worse than investing in doing it right the first time I think.

I used Caz from Making Waves Creative for the branding and design and Don’t Panic Design for my site build.

My tips if your just starting out and looking for a logo, branding and website:

  • If you don’t know anyone in the design/ branding/ web business, then start asking around for recommendations.
  • Do lots of research for both who to hire and what you want
  • Get excited! Make a pintrest board on what you like. Colours, style, feel.
  • Who are your ideal clients, where to they shop, how much will they spend, what’s important to them (read more on client avatars to get really in depth on this)
  • Come up with a company name and as soon as you have one check and buy the domain name! Also get the social media tags.
  • Play on competitions websites to see what you like and what you done. Are they to simple, to complicated. Too much text, to little images.
  • Plan what you want on your site. How many pages do you think you need or will it be a one-page site.
  • I have only ever work with people who really understand colours in branding (colour psychology) and it’s made a diffrence I think.
  • When you have picked the people you are going to work with ask lots of questions, make sure it all makes sense.
  • Ensure they are doing a mobile friendly site and you can update it yourself with ease.
  • Start getting lots of great photos ready as you will need to add these to the site.
  • When writing your web copy make sure it matches the brand you are creating. Be that fun, creative, free spited or educational.

For more great branding advise and insight go take a look at the Brand Stylist site and her book is great.

 

 

 

Ellie KellyHello & welcome to my blog

I'm Ellie a lover of celebrations, bunting, balloons and bubbles. This is my party and lifestyle blog. I'm married to Mr Kelly, we have a 4 year old Border Terrier, Milo and a baby on the way. Put on your party hat, grab a bit of cake and take a look around.

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