Resplendence, a blog from Radiant Resolution about graphic design

New Year Resolutions

It's that time of year where social media is flooded with resolutions and goals for the new year. From a professional standpoint I thought it would be interesting to reflect on some past resolutions and goals of Radiant Resolution. From its establishment in 2008 until now, my goals have changed so much, and it makes me proud to see how far Radiant Resolution has come. I highly suggest doing the same for your business, and as a bonus, imagine how your changing goals affect any graphics and marketing work you've had done or will need this year. Did your original logo target a different audience then you're aiming for today? Do you have a store front that's now ready to introduce sales on your website as well? It's a great time to reflect on this, and I offer free consultations if you need help.

When I began my freelance business, it went through a few name variations before I settled on Radiant Resolution. The logo also went through a lot of work before I settled on a design that has now lasted several years, and I've added the LLC. Original goals included:

  1. Add at least 10 good portfolio pieces

  2. Receive payment from at least 5 jobs (as a student, I was still doing free work for exposure)

  3. Gain at least 10 new clients

  4. Design a website for a nonprofit organization

  5. Create promotional material and templates for invoices, proposals, etc. to save time

  6. Offer a referral discount

  7. Run one ad in a local magazine

I constantly change my mind on my own branding, but I've forced myself to stay consistent with one key factor: the main color used for my logo, which is orange. And no, I don't know why I chose a flower from the start. I just pictured a bright, colorful, blooming flower with "radiance," rather than using a sun or light bulb, which would have been an easy go-to.

My first year was hard. I had just graduated with my bachelors in graphic design and began working on my masters, all while trying to establish my freelance business from the ground up. I actually drove to any local business I could find, knocked on the door and asked if they needed a website or logo designed. I didn't turn down free jobs, because I needed to build my portfolio with jobs rather than school projects. I was lucky to meet one of my first clients this way, who ended up finding me several other design opportunities. I learned a lot that first year. I learned the impact of networking and word-of-mouth (social media was not yet a useful marketing tool). I built my portfolio slowly and had 7 jobs the whole year. I didn't meet all of my goals, but I made progress.

The following year I had my big break. I was hired by City Living Magazine to layout and design their 3 local bi-monthly publications. My name started getting out and more and more clients came in. It took several more years to build up my business. When I'm feeling unsatisfied about meeting a goal, I look at the list of my goals from that first year and compare them to today. This year, my goals include:

  1. Eliminate old portfolio pieces on my website (I now have hundreds of pieces to weed through)

  2. Increase revenue by 30%

  3. Gain at least 50 more followers on social media

  4. Continue designing graphics for several nonprofits per year

  5. Tweak promotional material and templates

  6. Increase the (very popular) referral discount, and include other offers

  7. Participate in at least 4 events this year with the trade show booth

It's amazing how far this business has come in a few short years. The paperwork/books/invoicing has almost become too much to do myself, and it makes me proud that I have had the opportunity to work with that many clients (many regular or returning!). I've worked with clients all over the country, from places I've never even visited. It just amazes me and excites me for what is still to come with Radiant Resolution!

So what were your initial goals when you started a business, and how do they differ from your goals for 2017? If it's been several years since you've had a professional review your marketing strategies and design work, perhaps it's finally time to take that leap today. I offer FREE consultations on your current website, logo, social media, and more, and I'll let you know what I can do for you!

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About Brittany Klein

Brittany Klein is a freelance graphic designer from Maryland. She established her company, Radiant Resolution, in 2008 after receiving her Master of Arts degree in graphic design from Savannah College of Art & Design. She has since written blogs, e-books, and articles centered around graphic design and fine art for many organizations across the country.

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