Purple Revelations: The Joy of Impermanence

24 08 2012

DMT Artistry LLC officeMy husband, who reliably radiates the patience of a saint, requires Netflix and a sleeping bag any time we select paint colors. Yes, I am one of THOSE people.

Put me in a paint department with my artistic soul and perfectionist tendencies, and Mother Theresa could be forgiven for bolting for the door.

So, when it came time to choose colors for my in-progress office, I did everyone a favor, and went it alone. Interestingly enough, it took less then 15 minutes for me to leave with my liquid treasure.

Which got me thinking…

The way I see it, my office colors are the epitome of impermanence… the exact OPPOSITE of how I view DMT Artistry’s re-branding. My office colors can be changed in a few hours with a gallon of paint and elbow grease. But I’ve given myself the expectation that my new DMT brand must remain consistent across materials, locations, and time.

That’s a Mt. Everest order. Every brand evolves – even for the big guys, like Pepsi and Xerox. It has to. Stagnation means death.

It seems to me, then, that the “get-it-right-the-first-time” mindset is one of the primary sources of entrepreneurial quicksand. In an effort to make it right the first time, make it work perfectly the first time, make it a raging success the first time, we set ourselves up to be the deer in the headlights.

Impermanence is not only less intimidating; it’s more realistic. It reduces waffling over decisions. (It should NOT, however, be used as an excuse to be, think, or act in a mediocre fashion. We already talked about mediocrity in last week’s blog.)

Tell me, what decision have you been postponing for ages because the fear of “getting it wrong” is looming, piano-like, over your head? I challenge you to recognize that an incorrect decision is workable – you’re rolling your eyes, but I’m quite serious, you can always always correct your course to wind up on unexpected, opportunity-packed avenues – but going nowhere is not.

Come on, fellow entrepreneurs – let’s take this business world by storm!

Next Blog: … will be written by a guest blogger marketing guru, who’s been a DMT go-to guy for inspiration, motivation and valuable support – my dad!

“Nothing endures but change.”  ~Heraclitus

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC   |  www.DMTArtistry.com

All content Copyright © 2012 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.


Going Up? Creating the Ideal Elevator Pitch

11 04 2012

Creating an Ideal Elevator PitchHere’s the scenario…

You step into a ground level elevator with an unknown person, heading – like you – to the top floor. Seeing the professional case in your hands, your companion inquires whether you’re here on business. You are, of course, so the natural next question is, “What do you do?”

Here’s an open invitation to work some branding magic on a person who could be – or could connect you with – your next customer. If you steamroller them with your enthusiasm, your company will be fixed in their mind as pushy and overbearing. On the other hand, reluctance to share will translate into “not interesting enough to talk about.” Your elevator pitch needs to concisely blend intrigue, seduction and drama, without veering from good, clean honesty.

A challenge? You bet! The only thing about business ownership that’s easy is failing.

Length of an Elevator Pitch

Most elevator rides last less than 60 seconds. Take that as your cue. An average elevator pitch should last no longer than 30 – 60 seconds.

Consider this, too… you’ve actually got less than 10 seconds to make it worth someone’s while to keep listening. The first thing out of your mouth about your business should catch their attention!

Think About Your Audience

An elevator pitch should be adaptable to a variety of audiences. Think about how your language will change depending on whether you’re speaking to an industry peer, a possible investor, a curious passerby or a potential client. An investor warrants a true “pitch” and a more professional tone, whereas a personable introduction to your business is better suited to the masses.

Figuring Out What to Say

“I’m a graphic designer” is hardly an enticing elevator pitch, no matter how superhero-like my customers may make me feel on a day-to-day business. (Thanks for that, DMT clients!) However, ANY position can be made exciting (or dull) – and I mean ANY – if you use the right words to describe it.

Would you be intrigued if I told you that I do extreme makeovers? Am a success catalyst? Create “wow” factors? Make a living off of my imagination? Because I am and I do. And that’s a heck of a lot more exciting than stating the obvious.

Certain careers, by default, are already downright intriguing. Gold miners, ice road truckers and bike shop owners spring immediately to mind. These people have the luxury of saying the least amount and making the biggest impact. Nature of the game, fellow business owners; if you’ve got it, work it!

For the rest of us, we need to don our enthusiasm-tinted glasses and caps of creativity. You don’t just bake bread; you slay hunger! You don’t just clean offices; you increase office productivity with a vacuum! You don’t just sell furniture; you are a matchmaker who pairs people with custom manufactured soul mates!

Follow your opening statement with a brief synopsis on just what that entails. And of course, if time allows, return the compliment! Their elevator pitch may give you additional ideas for future encounters.

By the time you’ve completed your pitch, your goal is for the other person to not only understand what your business is about, but to want to know more. If they ask additional questions, or request your business card, congratulations. You just made a terrific elevator pitch and, possibly, a new client!

Your Turn

Writing this post has given me a new and fun perspective on DMT Artistry, and I’m well on my way to designing my own elevator pitch, which I’ll be sharing in a future post.

Now, what about you? What do you do?

“My job is to talk in other people’s sleep.”  ~ Elevator pitch of  a College Professor, from a Scott Adams’ online competition

Next Week: I’m thrilled to be introducing my sister, a corporate “Black Belt” trainee of Philips Automotive Lighting, as a guest blogger on the importance of personal appearance in branding. Stay tuned!

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC   |  www.DMTArtistry.com

All content Copyright © 2012 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.

To a Greater Purpose: The Not-Quite-Finished Mission Statement

28 03 2012

Finding your Mission StatementHave you ever purchased a critical piece of furniture – like a couch, perhaps, or a kitchen table – that gave you goosebumps at the store but, at home, didn’t quite match your original vision? Maybe it really is perfect. Maybe it’s not. A little cohabitation is what it takes to decide whether it’s truly “the one”.

That’s where I currently stand with my Mission Statement. After months of jotting notes and pondering purpose, I certainly have the vision of what I want to impart. However, distilling the essence of DMT Artistry into a few short lines is a much trickier process.

I’ve discovered that a slightly longer time frame is just what the doctor ordered for such an essential element of my re-branding.

Learn from my over-eagerness, readers.

My most recent Mission Statement draft is below. Over the next month or two, I will be working with and testing it to see if this is, indeed, the correct blend of homing device, moral compass, guiding beacon, call to arms, inspiration and reason for existence for DMT Artistry, LLC.

Reading this, would you choose to work with my company?

DMT Artistry, LLC Mission Statement

DMT Artistry, LLC is a professional graphic design and marketing team with personality. We produce reliably exceptional, creative and intelligent design through a process that is both enjoyable and educational for our clients. We are committed to behaving in a highly moral and ethical manner with our clients and our team. DMT Artistry is known as a company that, without exception, remains on task, on time and on budget.

DMT Artistry, LLC partners with business owners who are personally committed to the growth of their company. We use marketing tools that represent their products and services with integrity. Our clients love doing business with us.

Getting There

My process for getting to this point was anything but linear. Scraps of napkin and envelope “notes” have pile up from blinding flashes of inspiration. And, over the past several months, I’ve also kept pages of ponderings regarding DMT Artistry’s purpose and vision. I also used the Q&A resource on Entrepreneur.com, “How to Write Your Mission Statement”, to delve even further into DMT’s foundations.

Next, I compiled the lot, took a highlighter, and went to town capturing the phrases and concepts that I believe best represent my business – things like: “reliably exceptional”, “integrity, creativity and fun” and “transparency and trust”.

I filtered those down further into an initial Mission Statement, made significant adjustments using the phenomenal feedback of family and associates, and ultimately formulated the above.

Your Turn

Whether it’s halfway done, barely started or completely finished, let’s hear YOUR Mission Statements!

“If you want to know your past, look into your present conditions. If you want to know your future, look into your present actions.”  ~ Buddhist saying

Next Week: “The Tagline: Let’s Give ’em Something to Talk About”

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC   |  www.DMTArtistry.com

All content Copyright © 2012 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.

Ground Zero: The Perfect Mission Statement

21 03 2012

DMT Artistry, LLC - BrandingWhen the branding bug bites, it bites HARD.

I can’t wait to redesign DMT Artistry’s logo. And it will be terrific to give my website a full makeover. While I’m at it, I’m itching to design must-have DMT apparel, print portfolio cards, manage my SEO, acquire a QR code, rethink my invoice layout, re-record my phone message, start Facebooking like I mean it, address pricing, attend events, print company greeting cards…

*deep inhale*

But before I can successfully tackle any – or all – of the above, I need to have nailed down what DMT Artistry’s purpose is, how I’m going to make it happen and how I want my business to be perceived. That’s the core of any branding campaign. And that’s where a Mission Statement comes into play.

DMT Artistry, LLCWhat is a Mission Statement?
Think of your Mission Statement as your company’s soul or, better yet, its conscience. And as Jiminy Cricket so wisely warbled, “Always let your conscience be your guide.”

A Mission Statement explains to you, your staff, your customers and your industry what your business stands for. It sums up your goals, values, culture and business relationships. It is the functional figurehead of your company.

There are no one-night stands in the Mission Statement world –  it’s married to your company for the long-haul. Your Mission Statement will hopefully be as relevant in 10 years as it is in 10 days. Consistency is the hallmark of successful branding, and here’s where you set the bar.

DMT Artistry, LLCWhat Goes into a Mission Statement?
There are some phenomenal online resources out there to walk you through how to create your Mission Statement. Here’s the one I’ll be using to show you my Mission Statement thought process next week (via Entrepreneur.com):

How to Write Your Mission Statement

DMT Artistry, LLCInternal v. External Mission Statements
Reality check. Most of us are in business for profit or have, shall we say, less P.R.-friendly purposes that drive our organization. How do we include those – a very real and valid part of why our business exists – in a Mission Statement, without sounding like an ogre?

Simple – make two. One Mission is for internal company use, and one is for the public. My favorite example of this comes from Canon Photocopiers (2000):

Canon External Mission Statement: …Canon seeks to grow and prosper over the next 100, or even 200 years, and is committed to becoming a truly excellent global company who’s admired and respected by the world… (Read the full Canon Mission Statement HERE.)

Canon Internal Mission Statement:  Kill Xerox

For the purposes of this blog series, I’ll be focusing on the External Mission Statement.

DMT Artistry, LLCWho Should Write Your Mission Statement?
Listen – not everyone is Oscar Wilde, so if you need to call in the special forces to help you word your Mission Statement… no problem. However, this is THE FOUNDATION for your future success. You, your associates, your employees and perhaps even your family and close friends should be integrally involved in the process. You are the ones who know your company best.

DMT Artistry, LLCWhy Write a Mission Statement?
If all of the above hasn’t sold you completely on the importance of the Mission Statement, here are two more benefits to bear in mind:

1)  Your Mission Statement gives you a fantastic tool by which to measure your progress and successes.

2)  When you’re facing a tricky question or dilemma, use your Mission Statement as a compass. If an answer or resolution doesn’t hold with your Mission, it’s gotta go.

DMT Artistry, LLCSample Mission Statements from Top Companies
Need inspiration? Check out MissionStatements.com for Fortune 500 and Inc. 500 Mission Statements. Clearly they did something right; learn from them!

Just remember that not only does your Mission need to be entirely unique to be meaningful (and legal), it also needs to be something that you stand 200% behind.

DMT Artistry, LLCDMT Challenge of the Week
Nature of the beast – this won’t be a fast process, and you’ll likely make scores of rewrites before you strike gold. So why not start now?

I challenge you to present your Mission Statement next week, when I unveil mine!

Bonus reading: “How to Write a Mission Statement That Isn’t Dumb” – Nancy Lublin, FastCompany

Next Week: “To a Greater Purpose: The Finished Mission Statement”

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC   |  www.DMTArtistry.com

All content Copyright © 2012 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.

How to Brand a Business: A LIVE Demonstration

14 03 2012

Buckle up... I'm about to show you How to Brand Your BusinessToday marks the beginning of something unexpected. Something exhilarating. Something BUSINESS-changing.

For over two years now, I’ve been working with entrepreneurs and business owners who are no longer satisfied with half-hearted business and mediocre marketing. They’ve trained their sights on extraordinary success, and their questions and ideas have been the ongoing inspiration for this blogsite.

But starting today, rather than simply TELL you how to re-brand your business into something remarkable, I’m going to SHOW you how to do it.

DMT Artistry, LLC has long been overdue for a brand evolution. We are no longer an infant company testing the waters. Our growth has exceeded expectation. *pat on back*  But the time for admiring my handiwork-to-date has passed.

Now it’s time to give that growth direction.

Over the coming year, I’m going to take you through the elements of branding / re-branding your business, starting from the ground up, and using DMT Artistry, LLC as a living, breathing example. I’ll walk you through absolutely everything – from the importance of a Mission Statement, to the re-design of a logo, to the structure of pricing, to social networking with purpose, to re-making an online presence, to how you present yourself, right down to the miniscule minutia that create consistent and memorable marketing.

Learn from my successes – and my mistakes. There’s no point in tripping over the same stumbling block twice.

If you’re just launching your business, way to be in the right place at the right time! This demonstration is as much for the new entrepreneur, as it is for the rejuvenating business.

And I expect to benefit from this adventure as much as you do. I can hardly be an inspiration and a resource if my own business is stagnating.

Since I’ll be blogging about my experience in what amounts to “real-time”, I invite you to do your own re-branding right along with me. Feel free to comment and ask questions as we go. This will be YOUR resource. Help me make it what you need it to be.

This weekly blog series is going to combine the best of adventure and hard work, fun and professionalism, success and turning “oops” into “a-ha!”

So, if you’re ready to ride…

“Buckle up, Buttercup.”  ~Belinda Anderson

Next week:  “Ground Zero: The Perfect Mission Statement”

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC   |  www.DMTArtistry.com

All content Copyright © 2012 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.