BEHIND THE SCENES

yesthat

When a project first starts, the possibilities and ideas are endless. Ah! Guys, it's so exciting.

Ultimately though, with every client and project, I'm always working towards that moment. When you see a design and you know immediately: yes. that. You can feel something click. We've got it. That's a wrap.

This was one of several fonts I chose for a client recently. We ended up going with a different script, but I still have such a crush on this one!

What do you think? Are you loving the hand-written font trend as much as I am?

BEFORE THE DESIGN BEGINS

before-the-design

Designing a new logo or website for your business is hands down one of the most exciting processes you'll ever go through as an online entrepreneur. Ya know, other than your first sale, your next sale - okay all the sales - and always having the freedom to take a nap after lunch. Cuz you CAN. Although I'm 3 years in and I never have! I'm such a mean boss...

While the design process is super exciting, there are two very key elements that must be worked out before the designing ever begins; before the pixels hit the page - ha! If the following puzzle pieces are in place for your business, the design process will be pure. magic.

Your WHAT: get clear on your vision for your business.

What is your dream for your business? Knowing what you do and how you want to turn your ideas into offerings is huge. I didn't find that clarity for a good 2 years into my business. I took the very organic, it'll-find-me route...

Your WHY: clearly define your brand.

What's your mission statement? What are your values? How are you doing it differently than the other guys? After you pinpoint your vision and what your business does, it's time to ask how to define your vision so that your ideal clients will take notice.

Knowing the answers to these seemingly simple questions is, well, everything right? Because the info above? Your what and your why? That's what makes your business, your business. It's the heart, the soul, the core. Only then can you tackle the HOW - the design and the website - in a way that truly resonates with you and that sweet, sweet biz of yours.

Boom shakalaka(the sound awesome design makes).

xoxo,
Erin

Images via one uh-mazing client's inspiration board.

If you’ve ever felt the call to start an online business but aren’t sure of the what or the why or the how, It’s Business Time is a program with myself, Tiffany Han, and Michelle Ward to help you figure out all of the pieces and turn your Big Dreams into a Legit Biz (complete with a website designed by yours truly) in 6 months.

On March 13th, we are hosting a free webinar called What We Want You to Know About Starting a Business. Sign up here to get the webinar deets AND priority application information for the program (only 10 spots available!).

it's business time
it's business time

5 REASONS TO LOVE SQUARESPACE

hearts

I'm such a fan of Squarespace. Probably their biggest fan. Challenge me, I dare ya.

Yes, sometimes Wordpress is necessary. For 100% unique only-you-have-it sites, for complicated features and specific requirements, for customer portals and memberships - yes, Wordpress is the jam.

But lately, I find myself recommending Squarespace for my clients more and more. Need an easy-to-use shop? Squarespace. Starting a business and need something gorgeous yesterday? Squarespace-a-roo. Need a secret blog for your new program you're launching? Squarespace it up, dawg.

After thinking about it more, I landed on 5 particular reasons why I love Squarespace (and why you should fall head over heels for them, too).

01 LEGITNESS.

I don't know if you've perused the Squarespace templates lately (no? That's just my pastime?), but their templates are so gorgeous and professional. Yes, it's a template, but with the right customization and some kickass, one-of-a-kind branding? It'll look like you've invested mucho dinero into your site.

02 EASY TO USE.

Guys this is huuuuuge, you know why? This means you don't have to hire a developer to change every little thing on your site. Hello, freedom! I am drunk with thee! Squarespace makes it easy peasy to make changes to your copy, colors, fonts, and general layout. They give you the power to make the changes you'll (definitely) be making as your business grows. Major win.

03 AWESOMENESS IS BUILT IN.

Not only will you never have to learn a line of code, but you can also stop reading those snooze-fest articles about Search Engine Optimization, sitemaps, and website analytics. It's all already built in. #amenandhallelujah

04 ADD A SHOP.

E-commerce is available for all of their templates. I set up my shop on Squarespace earlier this year and the whole process was so fun and easy. I think that's the moment I officially fell in love.

05 YOU DON'T HAVE TO TAKE OUT A LOAN TO BUILD A SITE.

It's true. This is the biggest plus. You don't need to spend upwards of $8K to have a legit, amazing, successful website. When you're starting your business, invest in great branding, great copy, business coaching to refine your ideas, classes in your field -  YES. Don't dive in by spending all your money on the site design. You just don't have to. Trust.

xoxo,
Erin

P.S. if you’ve ever felt the call to start an online business but aren’t sure where to start, It’s Business Time is a program with myself, Tiffany Han, and Michelle Ward to help you figure out all of the pieces and turn your Big Dreams into a Legit Biz (complete with a website designed by me!) in 6 months.

On March 13th, we are hosting a free webinar called What We Want You to Know About Starting a Business. Sign up here to get the webinar deets AND priority application information for the program (only 10 spots available!).

it's business time
it's business time

NEW GOODIES IN THE SHOP

new social media template New goodies are in the shop, yo! *happy shop dance*

First up is a new social media template. A couple weeks ago I debuted a little secret weapon for us: templates sized specifically for instagram, pinterest, and facebook. This week's template is even more secret weapon-like, as it also comes with a twitter template. That's right. Let's share some twitter pics, too!

Like the first one, it also comes with pre-designed captions using two of my very favorite fonts - I'm especially loving that script font right now! I want to put it on everything.

free-grid-template NewGridTemplate Also in the shop this week is a new freeee template for February. This one is for all the round-up fans out there. Having a grid that's pre-designed for round-up posts has saved me a TON of time. It's definitely a must in my blogging toolkit. I hope it helps you, too!

xoxo, erin

NEW BEGINNINGS

BLB_moodboard

Guys. I'm starting a new collaboration + offering soon and my excitement is off the charts. I can't spill the beans quite yet, but I just had to give you a sneak peek of the moodboard I made for it!

Normally I do moodboards for client projects like logo design and web design. But moodboards can help organize any project or collaboration. It's so helpful to get the look and feel of a project laid out during the building + planning phase. Because really, it informs every phase that follows...

My method for moodboarding? I'll start collecting inspiration on a secret pinterest board and then try to distill it down to just a handful of pins, like you see above. With so much inspiration out there, it can be a surprisingly painful process. But every time I do it, I try to remind myself: the refining process is where the magic happens. And doing said refining with, say, a beer or a margarita? Totally allowed.

I kid, I kid. But I'm not kidding about the awesomeness that is launching this month. And P.S. it involves this superwoman :)

I can't wait to share everything soon! Very soon.

erin
erin

xoxo,

NEW SWEEEET TEMPLATE IN THE SHOP

new-blog-and-social-media-template Hey friends! I recently realized just how much time I spend customizing my graphics for allthesocialmediachannels. Wouldn't it be nice if it was one size fits all?? Like this rad flair...

Well until then, I've decided to create some secret weapons for us - mwahahaa - aka templates sized specifically for instagram, pinterest, and facebook. They all have their size requirements and if you've tried ignoring them and posting a photo anyways (and I know we all have), you know it ain't pretty.

No more wonky posting, I say. And no more boring captions, for the love of... This week's blog post and social media template is all about ease AND gorgeousness (because that's my mission in life).

Take a peek, guys! It's an INSTANT DOWNLOAD - wahoo!! You'll get a layered photoshop template with editable sample text and graphic elements. Oh and not just one, but 3 versions sized specifically for instagram, pinterest and facebook.

You'll also get a PDF guide with links to the fonts you see in the design - which are two of my very favorites! - and simple instructions for changing text and color in Photoshop.

Oh yeah, it's feeling more professional in this heezy already.

To the shop!

xoxo, erin

HAPPY NEW YEAR + SHOP ARTSOCIAL!

AS-happy-new-year It's here, it's here! Yes, the new year. But also the artsocial shop is officially open!! It's ready to be perused, everyone.

This month I'm focusing on logos, lotsa logos, that can be used in a variety of ways. I'm SO excited to see which ones you guys love the most.

My favorite I-can't-wait-to-tell-everyone features in the shop? Well...

01 EXCLUSIVITY. Other than each month's freebie download, every design is exclusive. Meaning there's only one. No sharing a design with other people (eww!). When you buy a design, it's yours and yours only.

02 PROFESSIONAL CUSTOMIZATION. Every design comes with one color and copy change by me! Sure I could've just handed over the editable files as an instant download for you to change yourself. But I want to help for a few reasons: not only do I want your information to look its BEST in the template, but I want this process to be super easy for you. And the reason you may be visiting my site is because you'd like some design help, you don't want to DIY your own logo. I hear ya. I'm here to help. Plus if you do want to edit or change a template yourself, you'll also get ai and psd files. Win-WIN.

03 VERSATILITY. The logos are logos, but they can also be used for SO many other things. Your new business, your DIY blog series, your new e-book cover, your birthday party invites, the list goes on and on. What do you have coming up this year? Let's brand all the things!

I'll be adding to the shop every week this year. There will be more logos as well as some other templates you guys have requested. Big thank you to everyone who's sent me comments about what you'd like to see in the shop. I'm listening. I can't wait to create some magic for you guys.

Here's to a creative and productive year :)

xoxo, erin

AND P.S. January's freebie download is a photo collage template! Check it out!

Graphic by artsocial.

GUYS, I'M OPENING A SHOP!

AS-the-shop I've been thinking about starting a graphic design shop for a while now. In fact, I started one a few years ago as a place to freely design and brainstorm. My goal with that shop was simply to start creating. More. A lot more. I wanted the practice. When things picked up for artsocial, I closed the shop but that idea never left me...

Just like a writer has a daily writing practice, I want a daily design practice. To do just that - practice and experiment... and maybe make something horrible BUT maybe make something super amazeballs. Something that will be helpful and the perfect fit for somebody.

So I'm opening a shop! Ah! Full of exclusive logos that I can help you customize in days, not weeks (wahoo!), templates for your blog posts, and other graphic design goodies. AND each month there will be some freebie downloads, too! I love me some free downloads. Et tu?

I'll be adding to it every week starting in 2015. Tell me, from one creative bosslady to another - what would you love to see in the shop?? Leave a comment below or email me (erin@heyartsocial.com)! I'd looove to hear what would help you and your biz the most.

The virtual doors open on January 5th. Get excited, friends! 2015 is going to be BIG :)

xoxo, erin

THE GOOD STOCK PHOTOS

death to the stock photodeath to the stock photodeath to the stock photodeath to the stock photo Yes, they do exist. Coming across a good stock photo is like spotting a unicorn in the wild. You're not sure if it's real and you're afraid it will suddenly disappear if you tell anyone.

Okay, I haven't found a unicorn in the wild (YET), but I do have a stock photo rec for you...

Death to the Stock Photo has changed my life. I'm sure you've seen their photos around. All of them are gorgeous and the subject matter is always the BEST. You'll actually want to use these photos. If you haven't signed up for their free monthly photo packs - yes FREEEE - then I'd highly recommend doing so right niz-ow. I'll wait for you to get back...

They also offer a premium option, $10 / month for an extra pack of photos and access to all past and future packs online. For what I do, that's a no brainer.

HUGE thank you to the crew at Death to the Stock Photo. If you're ever in Denver, please let me know. I must buy everyone drinks!

Now that you know, you betta tell somebody. Go forth and spread the word. Good stock photos do exist! Hooray!

xoxo, erin